The Real Winners and Losers from THE PLAYERS Championship in 2024

The actual winner this week was Scottie Scheffler who became the first man to go back-to-back at the Players Championship. We take a look at the winners and losers of this week's event.

Rickie Fowler - THE PLAYERS Championship
Rickie Fowler - THE PLAYERS Championship / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Players Championship Winners

Brian Harman

Last year Brian Harman surprised the field by winning The Open at Hoylake, Liverpool. Harman has played 351 PGA Tour events and has enjoyed an extremely sustainable career. However, wins have generally eluded the leftie as he's only won three PGA Tour events, including the Claret Jug at Hoylake. Harman has also only had a top-5 finish 27 times, roughly a 7% conversion rate.

Of those 27 top-5s, only three of them were at the majors which gives an impression of someone who struggles at the big events. Conversely, Harman has a respectable record at TPC Sawgrass with four top-10 finishes.

Harman has never before finished second in a major or at the Players. This past week, Harman broke that trend and secured a T2 result after a 64-68 finish.

Matt Fitzpatrick

The world number 11 had a good week at TPC Sawgrass, finishing solo 5th and four shots back from two-time champion Scottie Scheffler. Fitzpatrick missed the cut at the 2023 and 2022 editions of the Players which demonstrates what a strong performance this was by comparison.

Fitzpatrick won the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in April 2023, the week after the Masters. Since then, he's struggled with the driver until it started to improve at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open.

The reason? Fitzpatrick sheepishly admitted last week that he left a weight in the grip of his driver which he briefly experimented with. Whilst the error left him slightly red-faced, the lighter driver has revitalized his long game.

Joel Dahmen

In the first series of Netflix's Full Swing, Dahmen said "Somebody's got to be the 70th-best golfer in the world; it might as well be me". This past week, someone had to finish T11 at the 2024 Players Championship, so it may as well have been him.

Despite Dahmen's jovial comment, he is currently ranked 146th in the world, not 70th. Before this week, his best finish was a T41 at the WM Phoenix Open (though, he didn't take his shirt off this time) and his biggest payday was $30,404. This past weekend, Dahmen's 74-67-67-68 performance earned him $606,250 and the best finish of his career at the Players or any of the majors.

The Players Championship Losers

Xander Schauffele

Xander did so much right over the weekend at the Players Championship and set himself up perfectly for Sunday. He carded 65-69-65 and was in the final pairing on Sunday with Wyndham Clark. The stage was perfectly set.

Xander had a respectable front 9, shooting a two under 34, but the crucial swing of momentum was at the 14th and 15th holes where he recorded back-to-back bogies. Meanwhile, Scheffler was on the home straight and pulling away.

Schauffele's approach on the 14th was poor and missed the green right, and his approach on the 15th missed the green left. The scrambling play let him down, with his chip shots left 24 feet and 9 feet from the hole, respectively. Xander's putter couldn't save him and he moved backward at a crucial time.

Xander does consistently well in the big events. He has 11 top tens in the majors and one previous T2 at the Players, but no wins. This week's T2 will be another good result but another lost opportunity to win.

Rickie Fowler

Fowler famously won this event in 2015 and has been on a bit of a comeback tour in the last 12 months or so after an uncharacteristic drop in form. This time last year, Fowler was starting that tour and looking to qualify for the 2023 majors.

Fowler did just that and played in each major in 2023 apart from the Masters. He even finished T5 at the US Open. This year, Fowler is ranked 33rd in the OWGR and is expected to play all the majors after winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic last year.

Fowler has had a steady start to this season, but no fireworks, perhaps because there's no pressure to perform well early in the season like last year. Either way, Fowler made the cut this past weekend but had a poor 76-71 on Saturday and Sunday to finish T68. This April, Fowler will make his first appearance at the Masters since 2020.

Wyndham Clark

Wyndham has had a good start to the season and already earned $7,896,591. He won the 54-hole AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and finished second place two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Next. Valspar Championship Power Rankings 2024. 2024 Valspar Championship power rankings. light

For the second start running, Wyndham came up slightly short and had to settle for second place despite looking in good enough form to win. Wyndham will accept second place at a tournament this significant but will know he could have closed better.