The Rundown: The 2023 PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass

THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass,(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The self-proclaimed 5th Major, the 2023 PLAYERS Championship is next on the schedule.

While the Tournament itself may not live up to the 5th Major nickname the coverage generally does. As we all know Golf is criminally under-covered from a broadcast standpoint but the PLAYERS offers multiple feeds for our viewing experience.

The 2022 PLAYERS was ravaged by inclement weather and numerous delays. Cam Smith came away with the win on Monday when it was all said and done. He made 13 one-putts in the final round and finished 13 under for the tournament.

Anirban Lahiri was a surprise coming in 2nd place. Paul Casey, Kevin Kisner, and Keegan Bradley rounded out the top five.

Justin Thomas had back-to-back rounds of one under on Thursday and Friday before firing a combined 12 under on the weekend to claim victory in 2021. He led the field by gaining 13 strokes from tee to green. A number of LIV defectors finished top 5 including, Westwood, Bryson, Gooch, and Paul Casey.

The 2020 PLAYERS was the first casualty of Covid after Hideki Matsuyama tied the course record of 63 in the first round, the tournament was canceled.

The PGA returns to TPC Sawgrass for the 2023 PLAYERS Championship.

The PLAYERS Championship is played at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

TPC Sawgrass is a Pete Dye designed 7,189 yard par 72 with TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded with Poa/Trivialis Velvet Bentgrass. (Huh?) They play a little more like bentgrass but putting surface splits shouldn’t be a major concern.

The greens themselves are on the smaller side. They are multi-tiered and most of them are surrounded by water or bunkers.

With smaller greens, greens in regulation percentage is slightly below the tour average at 63%. Despite small greens, three putts are always a possibility especially if approach shots find the wrong tier.

The course has been overseeded with perennial ryegrass. This grass can thrive and grow in cooler conditions and gives a bright green appearance.

TPC Sawgrass is home to the famous 137 yard 17th hole. The Island Green has seen plenty of water balls and the final three holes at Sawgrass can make or break a round. The 16th hole is a par 5 and the easiest hole on the course. The 18th hole is a 462 yard par 4 and plays as the hardest hole on the course.

There are 24 acres worth of water and long bunkers run along the fairways that are strategically placed close to where golfers will want to aim for an optimal second shot. This makes accuracy off the tee a must and many golfers go less than driver on tee shots.

As a result driving accuracy comes in right around tour average at 63%. Driving distance is a bit lower than the tour average with an average drive of 278 yards.

Five of the ten par 4s on the course are between 450-500 yards. Despite the course not being extremely long, 22% of approach shots come from over 200 yards. Approach shots from 125-150 make up 19%, and shots from 150-175 yards make up another 19%.

There really isn’t a distinct skill set that should be targeted so a good mix of recent form and course history should be considered.

The field consists of 144 golfers with the Top 65 and ties making the cut after 36 holes to play the weekend at THE PLAYERS Championship.

2023 PLAYERS Championship: Key Stats and Figures

  • Approach
  • Par 5 Scoring
  • Scrambling
  • Opportunities Gained

Historic Cut Line

  • 2022: +3
  • 2021: +1
  • 2020: Canceled
  • 2019: even
  • 2018: even

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Previous Winners

2022: Cam Smith -13
2021: Justin Thomas-14
2020: Canceled
2019: Rory McIlroy -16
2018: Webb Simpson -18