THE PLAYERS Championship Is Big, But It’s Not A Major


Sometimes in sports we tend to over hype things and try to turn them into things that they’re not.  For example last Saturday was not the biggest day in the history of sports.  No one watches the Stanley Cup Playoffs unless it’s their team is playing, baseball can be a bore for plenty of people, by that point the NFL Draft was more about unknown players, and don’t even get me started about the so called “Fight of The Century.”  Now it’s time for THE PLAYERS Champioonship and for what many consider to be golf’s “Fifth Major.”  Except when you really step back and think about it, calling it a major is a stretch.

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No matter how many commercials the PGA Tour runs and time the Golf Channel will spend at TPC Sawgrass, don’t get fooled.  It may be the biggest tournament of the year outside of the majors but that’s the highest I’ll go.  It’s no knock against the course and the pressure that surrounds the final three holes, it’s just there is no reason to try and build this week up to something that it isn’t.

THE PLAYERS serves as a bridge between The Masters and the U.S. Open, but to combine the three into the same category just isn’t fair to the two bookend events.  Like Augusta, the Stadium Course is the star this week, but they are nowhere near the same.  We know every single hole at The Masters, this week most of us can’t talk about any of them prior to the 16th.  Also Augusta is a great course that is pretty much unmatched by any other, it sits on top of the list of Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses in America.  TPC Sawgrass barely cracked the top 50, coming in as the 47th best.

Major championship golf brings out the best of players and does that by making them compete in some of the toughest conditions.  That’s not really the case at THE PLAYERS.  Over the past fifteen years there have been only two winners who didn’t produce double digit under par scores.  In essence the tournaments comes across as a glorified tour event rather than a major.

Finally does anyone really think about THE PLAYERS Championship?  We all know that Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have thirty-two majors between the two of them, but does anyone really remember the five Players titles?  Freddie Couples loves Augusta, but for those of you who may not know he has more Players titles than Green Jackets.  Finally Sergio Garcia gets plenty of criticism for never winning a major, and I don’t see anyone saying “well he won The Players so that’s ok.”

Sergio doesn’t get a pass, and we don’t remember the specifics about the course because THE PLAYERS is not a major.  I’m not saying it’s not a great tournament and doesn’t make great television.  It’s just not up there with golf’s four biggest events.  I’ll be watching every swing come Sunday afternoon, but if you ask me in six months to tell you about every shot, it’s not going to happen.  It’s just cause the Players isn’t “major.”

Next: The Players Power Rankings

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