The Players Championship Handicapping Preview and Betting Free Plays

by Earl Campbell | March 10, 2021 |

The Players Championship takes place this week and the Spooky Express is back once again handicapping this PGA Golf Tournament looking for some value and the overall winner.  

This week, we change our focus to the Players Championship from Ponte Vedra, Florida.  This tournament is considered by many the “5th Major” from the PGA pros and will look like a “Major” as many of the top names in the game will be playing this year once again.  

This tournament has been played since 1974 and is not only one of the oldest tournaments played on the PGA Tour but it now has the largest prize pool of $15 million dollars.  That huge prize pool is mainly what will attract all these big names from the PGA and also from the Euro Tour, even though this is not “Officially” part of the Euro Tour, as many of the other “Majors” are.  

Keep in mind, there normally is no Euro Tour this week however this year, they will be playing the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters opposite of The Players Championship! 

TPC Sawgrass Course Details

The Players Championship is played each year at TPC Sawgrass’s Stadium Course. The tournament has been played here since 1982, so needless to say, there is plenty of course history to review. One thing to keep in mind, the course was sort of redesigned 4 years back and was shortened, so your best option may be to simply look at the past 4 years and player form.   

TPC Sawgrass is a very difficult golf course to play on. Over the last 5 years, we have saw scores peak out at -16, -18, -10, -15 and -12.   

The course was designed by Pete Dye and that means golfers will need to think about their approach shots and be very careful around the greens.  If you are looking for similar Pete Dye Courses to use course correlation, you can use Harbour Town Links at the RBC Heritage, TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championships and TPC Stadium Course at La Quinta for the CareerBuilder.

The greens at TPC Sawgrass are some of the smallest the pros of the PGA will play on all year.  They are made up of Bermuda Grass and can be tough to hit.

The fairways are lined with trees and have a number of bunkers and water hazards that will without a doubt come into play.  

There is no doubt that the premier viewing hole at TPC Sawgrass is the Island Green at the 17th.  This 137 yards Par 3 is such an exciting hole for people watching on and in person, that this has become one of the most exciting tournaments to watch as a fan of the game.

Players Championships Cut Info

The cut line for the Players Championships is much like most other normal tournaments.  There are 144 golfers scheduled to start the tournament on Thursday and only the Top 70 and ties will make it through the cut, to play on Saturday and Sunday.    

Players Championships System Attributes

This week, we are using the same format and attributes that we used last year, that proved to be effective with the past few years. Our main attribute will be Ball Striking.  This course puts a heavy emphasis on Ball Placement and Strategy for the upcoming shots. If you veer off the path on the small greens, you will find yourself in tough situations and very difficult to recover from.  

Most of the scoring at TPC Sawgrass will come from the Par 5’s so you want to make sure you have looked at how your golfer performs on the Par 5’s.  Also make sure you are putting a decent weight on Strokes Gained: Approach this week because if these guys miss those fairways and greens, they are in serious trouble.

  • Ball Striking
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Scrambling
  • Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
  • Greens In Reg
  • Par 5 Scoring
  • Par 4 Scoring
  • Strokes Gained: Around The Green

Earl's Players Championships Golfers

Patrick Cantlay +2652 at Bookmaker for 1.5 Units – Our top golfer this week is Patrick Cantlay.  Cantlay has been hit or miss at this course, missing the cut last year but finishing in 22nd and 23rd place in 2017 & 2018.  What is most attractive about Cantlay is his phenomenal form he is in right now.  He is coming off six straight top 17 performances which includes a win at the ZoZo Championship, a 2nd at the American Express and a 3rd at the AT&T Pebble Beach.  Do not ignore this guy in any major this year, including this which is like the 5th major.    

Tony Finau +3279 at Bookmaker for 1.5 Units – Ugh I hate doing this but I have to go with what the system tells me and it tells me that Tony Finau wins this tournament.  I think I need my head examined for writing this and playing this but I gotta believe in the system.  Finau really checks the boxes for us this week.  He is 5th in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green, 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 13th in Par 5 Scoring and is 19th in Par 4 Scoring.  Finau is in great form, coming in with a pair of 2nd place finishes, a 4th place finish and a 14th place finish in his last 4 tournaments.  Will this be the week he cracks through and gets the win? The system says yes.  

Tommy Fleetwood +5750 at MyBookie for 1 Unit – Our next golfer is Tommy Fleetwood.  Fleetwood is still looking for that US win and has come so close but just missed out several times.  Will this be the week? I think he has a great chance at it.  Fleetwood has played well here, finishing in 5th in 2019, 7th in 2018 and 41st in his initial year of 2017.  This year might be the year and at these odds, you can’t go wrong by taking a shot on him.

Scottie Scheffler +5000 at MyBookie for 1 Unit – Our final golfer this week is Scottie Scheffler.  Scheffler has never played here however I’m not letting that discourage me from playing him this week.  I think his form speaks for itself and his attributes are excellent this week. Scheffler’s Ball Striking is what is most appealing about him and his Par 4 scoring makes it easy to lay money on him.  Again, put a unit on Scheffler this week. 

Other Golfers To Consider: Jordan Spieth +2600, Paul Casey +4100, Matthew Fitzpatrick +4100, Louis Oosthuizen +5100, Jason Kokrak +6700, Will Zalatoris +6700 and Lanto Griffin +10100.  

Spooky's Players Championship Golfers

Patrick Cantlay +2652

Christian Bezuidenhout +7000

Corey Conners +10000

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