TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Par 72, 7,215 yards
The Players is known as the unofficial fifth major and is one of the most exciting stops on the PGA Tour calendar. The Stadium course at Sawgrass is a Pete Dye designed course with four par 5’s and four par 3’s with Bermuda greens. The biggest feature is the island green on the 17th that always offers alot of excitement throughout the week, most of all on Sunday. Sergio Garcia famously hit his tee shot in the water here last year to dash any hopes of victory. Doglegs were created in both directions and challenges every part of a players game.
In 2006, the organisers made this a very tricky test by bringing in a little more rough and altering the greens. Conditions tend to be fast and firm with more of a test off the tee with tricky doglegs both directions. Keep an eye on guys that can shape the ball and good ball strikers. Other stats to consider here are Scrambling, Strokes Gained-Putting, Par 3 Scoring Average and Par 5 Scoring Average.
Luke Donald 22/1
Luke Donald has a super record around Sawgrass with five top 20’s here with three top 6 finishes. He was second in 2005, sixth in 2012 and fourth in 2011. He comes here this week off an impressive solo second place at The RBC Heritage shooting an opening round 70 and followed that with three 69’s to finish on ten under par for the week. He also had a good performance at the Valspar Championship in mid-March finishing in T4th.
Donald ranks seventh in strokes gained putting, 19th in par 3 performance, fourth in scrambling and fifth in GIR from 200 + yards which is handy for hitting these four par 5’s. Donald has loads of previous experience at Sawgrass and is a player in good form at the moment.
Zach Johnson 33/1
Zach is another horse for the course here at Sawgrass with five top 20’s here in his last nine appearances including a second place in 2012 and an eighth place finish in 2005. He managed a top `15 last week at The Wels Fargo eventually finishing in T14th and six under par for the week.
Johnson played well at The Texas Open recently finishing in T6th on a total of five under par for the tournament. He was showing some very good form earlier in the season with a win at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, T8 at The Sony in Hawaii and a T3rd at The Humana Challenge.
Johnson ranks seventh in driving accuracy, 38th in strokes gained putting, eighth in par 3 scoring, tenth in par 4 scoring and tenth in scrambling. Zach Johnson is another player with a lot of previous experience here and is showing good form at the moment.
Henrik Stenson 25/1
The Swede is another player with a rich history in this event with a third place finish in 2006, tenth in 2008, a win in 2009, 15th in 2012 and fifth last year. He is showing some steady form at present with a super T5 finish at The Volvo China Open recently.
Stenson also played well in Augusta shooting 73,72,74,70 to finish one over par and T14th for the week. He was playing well a couple of weeks before The Masters and put in a superb performance at The Arnold Palmer to finish T5th. Statswise Henrik ranks third in total driving, 49th in greens in regulation, second in par 5 birdie or better leaders and ninth in putts from 15-20, which is a good stat to have on these small and fast Bermuda greens.
Jim Furyk 28/1
Furyk is another player with good history here with eight top 25’s including three top 10 finishes. He finished fourth here in 2003, third in 2006 and fifth in 2009. Furyk is showing some super form at the moment with four top 15’s in his last four events. He had a T6th at the Valero Texas Open at the end of March, T14th finish at The Masters, a T7th at The RBC Heritage and shot a superb second round 65 to finish in solo second last week at The Wells Fargo in Charlotte.
Furyk ranks 14th in driving accuracy, 43rd in par 3 scoring and first in scrambling. He is another player showing signs of a win any day now and it could very well here here at TPC Sawgrass on a course he has played so well on in the past.
Brendon de Jonge 110/1
De Jonge has two good previous performances here over the last two years finishing in 15th place in 2012 and 2013.
He had a nightmare start in the Wells Fargo last week shooting an opening round of 80.
He then went out and shot a 62 in round two, shot a 68 in round three and closed with a final round of 69 to finish on nine under par for the tournament and T6th. That’s a pretty impressive comeback! De Jonge should be coming into this week feeling confident and comfortable knowing he has played well here before.
Ryan Palmer 100/1
Palmer has been a small bit streaky over the last few months but has put together some great performances so far this season. He has two top 10’s in his last four starts with a second place finish at The Honda Classic in nearby PGA National and had a T7th at The Shell Houston Open.
Palmer ranks tenth in total driving, ninth in GIR, fifth in birdie average, 14th in par three birdie or better leaders, fifth in par four birdie or better leaders and 12th in par 5 birdie or better leaders. He also ranks sixth in par 4 performance and 11th in GIR from 200+. Had a good performance here last year finishing in fifth for the week.
Luke Donald 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Zach Johnson 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Henrik Stenson 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Jim Furyk 2 pts EW/ 4 pts total
Brendon De Jonge 1 pt EW/ 2 pts total
Ryan Palmer 1 pt EW/ 2 pts total
Total Staked = 20
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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