2023 Players Championship: Top 10 Power Rankings at TPC Sawgrass

Players Championship, TPC Sawgrass, PGA Tour,Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Players Championship, TPC Sawgrass, PGA Tour,Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports /
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Players Championship, TPC Sawgrass, Jon Rahm, THE PLAYERS, 2023 PLAYERS Championship
Rory McIlroy, 2019 Players Championship, (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images) /

Few in the field will have had as many bites at the apple at TPC Sawgrass as Rory McIlroy.

It often takes a lot of them to eventually win at this venue. For McIlroy, the 10th time was the charm when he prevailed for a win in March 2019.

McIlroy carded 67-65-70-70 (-16) to win by one over Jim Furyk.

In 12 total starts at the Players Championship, McIlroy owns a win, three more top-10s (all from 2014-16), and a T-12th (2016).

After a missed cut in 2021, he finished T-33rd last year and went out on a high note with a Sunday 66.

Winning in the first year this event moved to March makes sense for McIlroy’s game, which relies on a powerful aerial attack.

"“So for me two big things were, off the tee, the course plays a lot longer in March than it does in May, so I was able to hit driver a lot more,” McIlroy was transcribed by ASAP Sports in 2020. “The fairways are a little softer, so the course plays a touch wider. And then I think the other thing is having the rough overseeded around the greens, that was a big thing for me because I’ve always been more comfortable chipping out of that sort of overseeded rough rather than a pure Bermuda.”"

McIlroy brings in great form to Ponte Vedra Beach. He’s likely kicking himself for letting a chance go at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational (T-2nd), but it went down as his 11th straight top-40 and ninth top-10 in that span.

The Northern Irishman ranks first on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green per round (2.28), first in driving distance (327.6), and is fourth in total SG (1.989).

A very cold putter is the reason his win last fall at the CJ Cup is his only trophy (which, ironically, is a plaque instead of a cup) this season on the PGA Tour. McIlroy did beat a good field at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic this year on the DP World Tour.

I like him to avoid the water and trouble as well as anyone this week to keep himself in the tournament. I just see the two guys I’ve got next making a few more putts.