Are you looking for the 2015 Players Championship? Check out the 2015 Players Championship Predictions, Picks and Analysis at TPC Sawgrass.
Welcome to the week of the fifth major, the Players Championship. While not officially considered a major championship, you will be hard pressed to find a player on tour that does not treat this event with the same respect as a US Open or British Open. It is the real deal and winning it comes with a level of prestige not normally associated with just another tour event.
Many of the world’s best will be bedding down in the Ponte Vedra Beach Florida area for the annual rite of passage that is the Players Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass. Players seating in certain areas will provide an experience that is left unmatched for players during the rest of the PGA Tour season. The Players Stadium Course will be a par 72 course that traverses 7,215 yards. The defending champion is Matt Kuchar who netted a cool $1.71 million for his 72 hole winning 275 in 2012.
The distance of the course is not the final determining factor for this monsters difficulty. If you take each hole on its own merit this week there are a few that will make the players cringe, either openly or whispering to their caddies. The first duo of quiet monsters will rear their heads at four and five. The fourth hole is a par four that only plays 384 yards and is a hole that most professionals will choose an iron or fairway wood to tee off with. Not daunting then? It is not the length but rather the sloping mounds, lateral water hazard and fairway bunker that challenge the landing area that will create the trouble. If the players navigate that they will hit an approach to one of the hardest green on the Stadium Course with some of the most challenging pin placements the players will see all year. Birdie is possible here but it can quickly turn into bogey or worse.
The fifth hole is another par four but this time the players will cover 466 yards. Due to the length this hole provides an ample landing area if players can avoid the fairway bunker down the right side. A mid-iron will be required on the approach to this narrow and rolling green. If the players can avoid the grass bunkers, waste areas, and palm trees, then they should be able to walk away with a very welcome par but birdie on the other hand will be no simple task.
Coming down the stretch the players approach one of the most picturesque holes in the world, the island 17th. It is a 137 yard par three with a wide green that will narrow to the right side. There is bunker on the right that can be a disaster or a savior depending on the shot. The green has two distinct tiers that can make for a challenging putt if players hit it onto the wrong level. A crowd favorite and a swing hole all rolled into one.
Players will leave the 17th green and approach the 466 yard par four finishing hole where a dogleg left awaits the field. Water challenges the players down the entirety of the left side of this incredible finishing hole. Accuracy is key for this tee shot and the approach to avoid the number of grass bunkers waiting to suck in a rogue shot. There are not many, if any, finishing holes on tour that boast the challenge and beauty of 18 at TPC Sawgrass.
Some have tamed the course in the past either for 18 or 72 holes. The 18 hole record is a remarkable 63 which was shot by both Feed Couples in 1992 and Greg Norman in 1994. Norman also set the 72 hole record firing a 264 in 1994.
Do you want to sore some bar room trivia in your head? Some interesting things many might not know about the Players Championship are there are only five players with multiple wins (Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III and Steve Elkington), there has also never been a back to winner of the event. The Golden Bear won the inaugural event in 1974 but the first win after the tournament moved to TPC Sawgrass was Jerry Pate (1982). Did you know there has been one player in the history of the Players Championship that birdied the Island 17th in all four rounds? It was Paul Azinger in 1987. Do you crave some of the memorable moments from the Players Championship. Well here are six minutes that you will love to watch, enjoy!
YouTube Video Courtesy of pgatour
But what is going to happen in 2013? Who has the history to warrant contender status in TPC Sawgrass? Can another up start breakthrough for a career changing victory? TPC Sawgrass has a knack for producing moments that many could not predict. Let’s look at a couple of the possible contenders this weekend in Florida.
Up Next: the Contenders