Weekly Golf Preview – The Players Championship

One of the biggest weekend’s in golf takes place this weekend, as the ‘unofficial’ fifth major takes place at TPC Sawgrass – including the 17th Island hole, one of the most iconic holes in the world.

The Players Championship has become one of the most loved events in the golfing calendar for fans and players alike, although the winner likes it more than most as he is rewarded with the largest purse in golf of over $10million.

Officially, this tournament is not recognised as an official event by the European Tour – but they don’t put up a significant competition to oppose it as all their top players are found in Florida for the big one.

See below as we run through the Players Championship for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.


  • Staged at TPC Sawgrass, Florida
  • First staged in 1974
  • Current champion is Kim Si-woo

FIELD: As you would expect for one of the biggest events in golf, it has a field to live up to that reputation and it is comparable with any of the majors – Kim Si-woo is the defending champion, but he will have his work cut out to defend a crown, as nobody has managed that in the history of the event. Rory McIlroy is considered the early favourite, whilst Wells Fargo winner Jason Day – a previous winner here – is seeing plenty of interest. Home favourites Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler all tee it up this week.

QUOTES: Former world number one Jason Day is delighted to be back to form after his win last week and he heads to Florida in confident mood with his focus firmly set on getting back to the top of the world. “When you’re walking around and there’s so many golfers in this world and you’re better than all of them that’s an awesome feeling.

“Last year was a good kick in the butt, not playing great and then seeing a lot of the other guys succeed.

“Now Everything feels balanced in my life; I’ve got no problems at home or distractions; I’m focused on golf. Desire and hunger (are not lacking) right now and I’m very motivated to keep pushing this (form) more and more.”

ODDS provided by Betfair:

  • Rory McIlroy 12/1
  • Justin Thomas 14/1
  • Jason Day 16/1
  • Jordan Spieth 16/1
  • Dustin Johnson 18/1
  • Rickie Fowler 20/1
  • Henrik Stenson 22/1
  • Justin Rose 22/1
  • Jon Rahm 25/1
  • Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
  • Patrick Reed 30/1
  • Sergio Garcia 33/1
  • Phil Mickelson 35/1
  • Tiger Woods 35/1

The pro’s point of view…

Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.

A field to rival anything, it really is and it will be a pleasure to watch the world’s best going at it this weekend.

I really like the look of Jason Day – he loves the course, he is in a good place and in form, you have to think he is going to go close for sure. I would also look at Ian Poulter to go well, he has good history here and I am sure he can compete here.

The Bookie says…

We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action

It’s the ‘Fifth Major’ and an appropriately top-quality field has assembled at Sawgrass in search of glory and riches.

Rory McIlroy, with three top 10s on the course, is the 12/1 favourite on the Betfair Sportsbook which is paying eight places this week.

There is outrageous quality in behind Rory with 14/1 Justin Thomas followed by the 16/1 trio of 2016 winner Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.

Rickie Fowler, who brings an interesting Sawgrass record of a win, runner-up, 60th place last year and five missed cuts, is the 20/1 sixth favourite.

Very few players have won twice on the course but one man who has is Tiger Woods, a 35/1 chance this week, the same price as Phil Mickelson, who won the 2007 Players.

The tournament is famous for delivering the odd shock winner so don’t be afraid to back one at a big price, as Steve Rawlings points out in his essential Players Championship preview. >>> https://betting.betfair.com/golf/the-punter/players-championship-2018-betting-preview-080518-167.html

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