PGA Golf: Players Championship
This week, the PGA heads from Wilmington, North Carolina to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Another week where The Spooky Express PGA plays had a chance of cashing another winner with Jon Rahm at 12/1 but lost it on the 18th hole with Brian Harman making an absolute stellar putt for eagle to win the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. This week, the PGA heads from Wilmington, North Carolina to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Players Championship Overview
If you are looking for talent on a golf course, TPC Sawgrass is the place to be this week. There will be 48 of the top 50 golfers in the world competing in this year’s Players Championship. The only 2 missing with be Thomas Pieters and Brandt Snedeker.
TPC Sawgrass is a Par 72 golf course that measures just over 7200 yards. It recently went through some changes as the PGA shut down the course after last year’s Players Championship and made some changes. The course itself plays short and accuracy is important as several holes are located in areas where accuracy is of utmost importance.
The weather for this week’s Players Championship looks clear for the entire tournament. On Thursday, forecasters are calling for mostly sunny skies and a high of 90 degrees. Friday looks to be a mirror image of Thursday with the only difference being there will be cloudy skies in the afternoon. On Saturday, they are calling for clouds in the morning and sunny skies in the afternoon. Temps will drop on Saturday with a high of 83 degrees. On Sunday, the sun returns with temps in the low 80’s. There is no rain in the forecast at all this week and the winds will remain the same throughout the week at around 11-14 MPH from the WSW.
For most of the tournaments that we handicap, we use the top 5, sometimes 6 attributes to create a formula for the highest recommended golfer. This week, during our initial research, we found a total of 8 key system attributes that have played well over the past 12 years.
The attributes we will use to select our golfers is Strokes Gained: Approach, Par 4 Performance Percentage, Par 4 Scoring, Scrambling, Good Drive Percentage, Ball Striking, Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and Greens In Reg. The two heaviest attributes we are putting the most weight in this week are Strokes Gained: Approach and Strokes Gained: Tee To Green. Ball Striking will also be very important but this is a shorter course so accuracy is more important than distance.
*My first golfer is Paul Casey at 40/1. Casey is the only golfer in the Players Championship that ranks in all 8 of our key system attribute this week. Casey is 5th in Scrambling, 7th in Ball Striking and is T25 or better in the other 6 categories. That is tremendous for any tournament. Add in the fact that he has come in off a 12th place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, 6th at The Masters 9th at the Dell Match Play and has made 9 out of 10 cuts this year with his only missed cut being the Sony Open, which was his first tournament of the year. I really like Casey this week and at 40/1, it should be illegal!!! This may look like a crime but call me a criminal because I’m all over Paul Casey this week!
*My second golfer is Sergio Garcia at 16/1. Sergio is the All-Time money leader at the Players Championship. He leads the PGA in Ball Striking, is 3rd in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green, 4th in Greens In Reg, 5th in Good Drive Percentage and is 4th in Par 4 Scoring. Garcia has made the cut each year at the Players Championship dating back to 2005. Garcia has made every single cut this year and already has 2 wins on the tour, the Waste Management Phoenix Open and The Masters.
*My third golfer is Justin Thomas at 28/1. Thomas has only played this course 2 times, once last year and once in 2015. Both of those tournaments, he finished 3rd and 24th. Thomas has won two times this year, both at the beginning of the year in the Sony Open and the Tournament of Champions. Thomas has since sort of fallen by the wayside and become a forgotten commodity. At 28/1, I can’t let this slip past me. I’ll be playing for him surely.
*My fourth golfer is Martin Kaymer at 66/1. Kaymer has great course history at TPC Sawgrass making the cut every time he has played here. He won this tournament back in 2014 and has 2 additional top 20 finishes. Kaymer is Mr. Reliable as he has made the cut overall in every tournament this year. Not only has he made the cut in every tournament this year, but he hasn’t missed a cut since the Valspar Championship in 2016, which is 29 straight golf tournaments!
*My fifth golfer is a long shot in this week’s Players Championship but I truly believe he has a great chance to hitting top 5 this week, if not winning this thing altogether! Kyle Stanley is 150/1 and sets up perfect for this course! He ranks in the top 17 in 7 of our 8 key system attributes this week including 2nd in Ball Striking and 3rd in Greens In Reg. Stanley has been in great form this year, making the cut in 8 of 9 tournaments with an 8th place finish at the Shell Houston Open. He has played at TPC Sawgrass 3 times, making the cut two times and missing once. Stanley will be well rested as he has not played since RBC Heritage on April 13-16.
Head To Head Plays
Martin Kaymer over Kevin Chappell for 3 Units -115
Justin Thomas over Henrik Stenson for 2 Units at +125