Often called the fifth major on the PGA Tour, THE PLAYERS Championship is indeed a special event. Not only is it the only event on Tour that gets to be written in all-caps, it is the strongest field of the year. Teeing it up at Ponte Vedra Beach this weekend are 49 of the 50 players currently in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Ben Taylor is the lone missing player from the top-50, and he has a pretty good excuse. Instead of playing golf at TPC Sawgrass this weekend, he’s getting married. At the time he and his bride-to-be chose their wedding date, Taylor says he never dreamed he would qualify.
Favorites to Win THE PLAYERS Championship
Jon Rahm (+800)
Rory McIlroy (+1000)
Scottie Scheffler (+1000)
Justin Thomas (+1600)
Patrick Cantlay (+1800)
Collin Morikawa (+2200)
Xander Schauffele (+2200)
Max Homa (+2200)
Tony Finau (+2200)
Viktor Hovland (+2500)
Jon Rahm is coming off a pedestrian T39 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but with three wins in his last six starts, he is obvious and deserved favorite. In 2021 he finished ninth at this event, but was only 55th last season.
Rory McIlroy won this event in 2019 and was T2 last week at the Arnold Palmer. On the season he has four starts, one win, and two top-10 finishes. He is currently ranked third in the World Golf Rankings.
Just above McIlroy is second-ranked Scottie Scheffler. He was T4 last week at the Arnold Palmer, following up a T12 at The Genesis and a victory at the Phoenix Open. He tied with Rahm last year for 55th place at this event.
Rounding out the top-four on the odds board in Justin Thomas, a winner here in 2021. He also finished third on this course back in 2016. With over $3.6 million in winnings at TPC Sawgrass, it’s safe to say that Thomas likes this tournament.
Value Bets to Consider
Si Woo Kim at +6600 isn’t an obvious pick after finishing just T39 last week at Bay Hill. However, he finished strong over his final 30 holes, and by the end of the weekend he was playing his best golf since he won the Sony Open in January. He won THE PLAYERS back in 2017 and was top-10 two years ago.
Webb Simpson is another past champion – he won in 2018 – and he is on the board at +15000. He’s had a rough season, but he did just finish the Arnold Palmer with a final round 66 to get a T24. Also, his -18 at THE PLAYERS in 2018 was the lowest score here since 1996.
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