PGA Betting Preview: The Players Championship
Event at a Glance
Venue: TPC Sawgrass
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Date: Thursday, March 14-17
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.
Last week, we started off with a ton of concern as Jason Day withdrew from the tournament….I’m guessing so he could go to Disney with his family, and that left us short-handed.
We still ended up with Charles Howell and Lucas Glover in the final day competing for the top but they fell short.
We did, however, cash a nice 59/1 winners over in the Euro Tour with Justin Harding, which made it a very nice and profitable week. This is the prime example of when I say that in golf betting, to be profitable, you must have short term memory loss as Harding missed the cut the week prior and played terribly but bounced back nicely to secure the win last Sunday morning.
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 $12.5 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.
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 3 years back and was shortened, so your best option may be to simply look at the past 3 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 -10, -15, -12, -13 and -13. Last year, we witnessed Webb Simpson go on a tear, and shoot a -18 below par to win the tournament over Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker by 4 strokes.
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.
Add in the fact that the weatherman is calling for 10-15 mph winds throughout the week and that should make for some interesting shots onto the Island….or in the water!
Players Championships Cut Info
The cut line for the Players Championships is much like most other normal tournaments. There are 156 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 3 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
- Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
- Greens In Reg
- Par 5 Scoring
- Par 4 Scoring
- Strokes Gained: Around The Green
Players Championships Golfers
Justin Thomas +1600 at GTBets for 1.5 units
Thomas has played well here but has not won. He has finished in 3rd place and 11th place. That could change this week, as JT enters at decent odds. JT ranks #1 on tour in Strokes Gained: Approach and Par 5 Scoring, which just so happen to be the two top attributes that we are looking at this week. He also ranks high in several others such as 2nd Strokes Gained: Tee To Green, 6th with Greens in Reg, 11th Par 4 Scoring Average, 13th with Ball Striking and Strokes Gained: Around The Green.
Xander Schauffele +2800 at MyBookie
Xander barely missed getting the win last year over a red hot Webb Simpson but fell short on the final day. This year, he actually comes in with just as good form, if not better, and checks 6 of our 8 boxes for attributes. Looking back at last year, he wasn’t close to as good in top 25 rankings as he is this year with many of the attributes. He has played in 8 straight tournaments where he has finished inside the Top 25, which includes wins at Sentry Tournament of Champions and WGC HSBC Championship. He is playing some great golf and is one of my top plays this week.
Sergio Garcia +3793 at Bookmaker
One of my favorite plays without any question this week is Sergio Garcia. There is no reason that Sergio should be coming in at these odds. The guy is a majors winner and is coming into this week off a 6th and 9th place finish, quietly at WGC-Mexico Championship and Honda Classic. Put a few bucks on Sergio this week!