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 TPC Sawgrass was designed in 1980 by Pete Dye and has four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s with bermuda greens.
It sits on over 415 acres in the Florida swampland and contains narrow fairways lined with hazards like marshes and waste bunkers. It also a lot of strategically placed pot bunkers to catch even a slightly stray shot. The rough is very thick so players that are accurate off the tee are worth looking at. The course also features craters and mounds, tall, shot-obstructing palm trees and rock-hard, lightning-fast greens. The biggest feature is the island green on 17 which offers a lot of excitement throughout the week, most of all on Sunday.
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 players that can shape the ball, good putters, accurate iron play and good scramblers. Other stats to consider here are par 3 scoring and par 5 scoring average.
Jordan Spieth 8/1
There is no other player showing the form that Jordan Spieth is over the last few months. In his last six events, Spieth has wins at The Valspar and The Masters, two seconds at The Texas Open and a Houston Open, a respectable T11 at The RBC Heritage and a T17 at The WGC Matchplay. He played well last week but was knocked out by an in form Lee Westwood on Friday, which should work in his favour coming into this week.
Jordan played well here at TPC Sawgrass last year finishing T4 on ten under par with Justin Rose. He also seems to fit the bill statswise ranking fifth in strokes gained tee to green, eighth in strokes gained putting and 18th in scrambling. Spieth also ranks 22nd in par 3 scoring, second in par 4 scoring and 32nd in par 5 scoring. Given the way he is playing recently, Jordan Spieth looks like a huge contender here.
Justin Rose 22/1
Justin Rose has come into some great form over the last few weeks. He had a great week at Augusta finishing T2 on 14 under par for the tournament. He followed that with a super performance at The Zurich Classic of New Orleans shooting a final round 66 to get the win and finish on 22 under par for the week. Justin has played well here in the past recording a personal best T4 last year and T22 in 2009.
He ranks 22nd in GIR, sixth in birdie average, second in approaches from 225-250 and eighth in approaches from 175-200, which are two good stats for approaches into the par 5’s. Rose also ranks 32nd in par 3 scoring and 21st in par 5 scoring and could be another player to watch here given his current form.
Jim Furyk 25/1
It was great to see Jim Furyk finally get the job done in style shooting a final round 63 at The RBC Heritage a couple of weeks ago. I thought he was putted superbly and hit the ball extremely well all week. He also had a good week at The WGC Matchplay finishing fourth. Furyk was showing some good form early in the season with a T7 in Pebble Beach, T14 at The Northern Trust Open and a respectable T12 at The WGC Cadillac in Doral. He has a great record around this course finishing second last year, T25 in 2012, T5 in 2009 and T27 in 2008.
Statswise he ranks fourth in driving accuracy, third in strokes gained tee to green, second in approaches from 100 yards and fifth in approaches from 200 yards. Furyk also ranks 14th in scrambling, 22nd in par 4 scoring and 22nd in par 5 scoring. With a great record here and solid current form, Furyk looks to have his game in super shape coming into this week.
Jimmy Walker 33/1
Jimmy Walker has been playing well all season with two wins already under his belt, which came at The Sony Open back in January and The Texas Open at the end of March. He nearly made it winner number three at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions, but was beaten in a playoff to Patrick Reed. Walker has played well at TPC Sawgrass over the last couple of years finishing T6 last year on nine under for the tournament and T15 in 2013 on six under.
Walker ranks 17th in driving distance, 15th in strokes gained tee to green, second in strokes gained putting and second in birdie average. He also ranks 14th in par 3 scoring, 22nd in par 4 scoring and fifth in par 5 scoring. After playing well here over the last couple of years, Walker looks to be going in the right direction.
J.B. Holmes 50/1
J.B. Holmes is in great form at the moment and has four top 10’s including a win in his last eight tournaments. His good run of form began back in February, where he lost a playoff to Jason Day on the second playoff hole and finished P2 in Torrey Pines at The Farmers. He followed that with a T10 in Pebble Beach, which included an opening round 64, solo 2nd at The WGC Cadillac in Doral, a win at The Houston Open and a T9 last week at The WGC Matchplay.
Holmes has played well here in the past finishing T6 in 2011, T13 in 2010 and T10 in 2008. J.B. ranks seventh in driving accuracy, 10th in strokes gained tee to green and fourth in birdie average. With a good history on this course and great current form, J.B. looks like great value at 50/1.
Final Selections –
Jordan Spieth 8/1 2pts EW
Justin Rose 22/1 1.5 pts EW
Jim Furyk 25/1 1.5 pts EW
Jimmy Walker 33/1 1 pt EW
J.B. Holmes 50/1 1 pt EW
Total staked = 14 pts
Good Luck and enjoy the golf,
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