Breaking down the PGN expert’s picks and predictions for the PGA Tour’s ‘flagship’ event, the 2023 PLAYERS Championship at the Pete Dye gem, TPC Sawgrass.
It may be the fourth designated event in the span of five weeks with many of the same stars, but that certainly hasn’t changed the atmosphere ahead of one of the biggest events on the golfing calendar at one of the most iconic courses in the world, TPC Sawgrass.
The 2023 Players Championship, or ‘PLAYERS’ Championship if one needs an illustration of how big this event is and how much it means, is certain to have a different feel than previous editions with the defending champion absent from this year’s field.
The three players who bested the rest of the field at this event last year have since gone on to join the LIV Tour, in fact, five of the top ten finishers at the 2022 Players Championship won’t be back this week. Regardless, the 49th playing of the Players (not including the canceled 2020 edition) will boast an elite field that includes the world’s top three players and a host of other big names.
Whether you are a fan of the self-titled ‘fifth major’ and ‘flagship’ event or not, there is no denying that this is annually one of the most exciting events to watch on one of the most recognizable courses in the world.
The event always delivers drama and captivating action and this week should be no different, so without further ado, here is who our experts are selecting to be crowned the 2023 Players Champion come Sunday evening.
Expert Picks and Predictions for the 49th Players Championship
After successfully repeating at the WM Phoenix Open a couple of weeks ago, Scottie Scheffler nearly won at Bay Hill last weekend for the second consecutive year as well.
Last year’s Masters winner could return to the top of the world with a win this week and a couple of our experts like his chances of accomplishing that feat at this year’s Players Championship.
Sam Morgan: “It’s hard to look past Scottie Scheffler with his relentless consistency this season. He’s currently 116 under par with no signs of slowing. He will be hard to stop.”
Derek Helm: “Scottie Scheffler has three top-10 finishes in 2023 and hasn’t finished worse than 12th. He’s great at bogey avoidance and has been hitting his irons well. Both are needed at TPC Sawgrass and I believe Scottie will win the PLAYERS.”
Bill Felber: “If Rahm isn’t a lock, and he sure wasn’t last week, then we are back to the normal state of affairs on Tour where anybody could win. I will ride with Rory.”
Two of our experts expect a strong response from the world number one this week following his first finish outside of the top ten in any event since last year’s Tour Championship last week at Bay Hill.
Mike Randleman: “I’ll go with my No. 1, Jon Rahm. I see him shaking off a poor finish at Bay Hill and winning his first Players Championship.”
Kathlene Bissell: “I’ve already picked Jon Rahm once and will stick with him this week”
Josh Chandler: “For as great as Homa has been recently he still has yet to truly contend on golf’s grandest stage. Max’s best finish in all four major championships and the Players Championship combined is 13th; both of which came last year at the Players (13th) and PGA Championship (13th).
This year’s Farmers Insurance Open winner was excellent with his irons last week at Bay Hill only to be let down by his usually reliable putter. He has gained strokes on approach in four of his five starts this year as well. I like Homa’s chances this week of returning to form on the greens and contending for the first time in one of golf’s five big events.”
Hans Geevers: “Patrick Cantlay arrives at this week’s 2023 Players Championship on the heels of two consecutive top-four finishes on the PGA Tour, including a third-place result at the 2023 Genesis Invitational last month. I fully expect Cantlay to improve on the result that he posted at this tournament (22nd) in 2017”