There’s one big tournament after the other every month from March through September. Buckle up, as the Players Championship kicks it all off this week at TPC Sawgrass
There have been plenty of good litmus tests on the PGA Tour so far in 2020. Another is teeing up as we approach the Players Championship.
Stops at Kapalua, Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Riviera are among the notables.
This week presents another type of challenge as we see our first Pete Dye course on the 2019-2020 schedule: TPC Sawgrass.
It’s been the venue for the Players Championship since 1982.
Known most for its famous par-3 17th island green, this course plays tricks on golfers for all 18 holes.
Like most Dye courses, there are a lot of visually daunting and blind shots. It doesn’t take a long hitter to win here. In fact, the length is negated thanks to a lot of doglegs.
Playing well here takes precision, course management and the ability to trust your swing under pressure.
Course history is usually a good prognostication tool. Here, not quite as much.
TPC Sawgrass tends to reward whoever’s playing well that particular week. In short, you can’t fake it around here. There are benefits to having seen this course in competition, but you still have to go out and execute.
The Players Championship was held in March until 2007 when it moved to May. It held its perch between the Masters and U.S. Open for 12 years before moving back to March for last year’s event.
The earlier date will make the course tend to play longer and softer. The wind is a factor year-round and it appears as it’ll gust in the low double digits miles per hour.
The week looks like it’ll be dry with temperatures hovering in the 70s.
Could the earlier date mean more red numbers?
Rory McIlroy’s 16-under winning score in 2019 was the second-lowest since 2010 (shout out Tim Clark).
This week’s field lists 144 players, most of who qualified via a top-125 finish in the previous season’s FedEx Cup standings. The other main entry point is to be top-50 in the world rankings, which makes this one of the PGA Tour’s more global events.
Whether or not you want to buy into the “fifth major” nonsense that always seems to accompany this tournament, it should still be a thrilling week.
Let’s see who will take home the lofty $2.7 million top prize: