It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a….gold-plated silhouette wrapped in pomp and circumstance? Must be PLAYERS week!
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The PGA Tour welcomes the world’s best to TPC Sawgrass for one of the best tournaments of the year. Every one of the top fifty in the world are in attendance, and golf’s largest stadium is ready to play host. The Players hasn’t been held in March since 2006 and a lot changed since the 2018 event. Players Championship Tee Times
Webb Simpson returns to try to defend his title after a dominant performance last May. After a Friday 63, he backed it up with 68-73 and coasted to a four-shot victory.
March Madness – The Players was held in March for the first 33 years of its existence before moving to May in 2007. The date change will bring a softer golf course with more wind and a longer test. The rough is reportedly short, but the north/northeast wind should make things semi-interesting.
Back-to-back – Amazingly, no one has ever won this event two years in a row. The Pete Dye design tests many different aspects of a professional’s game and requires all aspects of your game to be in top shape.
Newbies – Twenty-two players will be playing this event for the first time, but many of them are established pros. Aaron Wise, Abe Ancer, Wyndham Clark, Sungjae Im, Eddie Pepperell, and Adam Long are amongst the first-timers.
Tiger – The ultimate headline-maker returns to action after missing Bay Hill due to a neck injury. He seemed very confident and ready to go during his Tuesday press conference, saying he is not worried about his prospects for the rest of the year. At 40+ years old, Tiger has finally decided to take the conservative approach to injury.
Twelve – The Tour modifies the 12th hole at TPC Sawgrass for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW. Maybe the saying will be right and the third time will be the charm…
Seventeen – Don’t know if you guys have heard….but it’s an island green.
Special to The Fried Egg, acclaimed baseball writer (now golf writer) Joe Peta dives into the numbers at Sawgrass and explains why we see so many random winners. Read Joe’s piece here.
It’s tough to find trends at Sawgrass and the move to March will make it even more difficult. Paulie expects more difficult conditions and a few grinders to thrive. Read Paulie’s picks here.
Kenya believe there is more golf?
As if we didn’t have enough pomp and circumstance in Ponte Vedra, we have golf in Africa as well! The Euro Tour has ended its swing through the middle east and will now seemingly traverse the rest of the globe. The Players has drawn most of their big names away from the field but there are still a few notables in Kenya. Hosung Choi, Justin Harding, and Thomas Bjorn are amongst those teeing it up this week. Kenya Open Tee Times
Brendan Porath wrote a great piece on The PLAYERS last year for SB Nation. Definitely worth reading through as we prepare for one of golf’s biggest events. Full Article
Tiger started working with Justin Thomas’ putting coach. Read the full background story HERE (from Nick Menta)
Pat Perez pulled out of the gold standard and revealed he has an achilles injury that will keep him out for a prolonged period. Full Story (from Will Gray)
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Country Club of Charleston will be the first Seth Raynor design to host the world’s best. This year’s U.S. Women’s Open will head to lowcountry, Andy took a look at the course and the brilliance of Seth Raynor. Read his full profile here.
Shotgun Start: TPC Target golf, Tiger’s return, and Players picks
This Wednesday episode goes long on the Gold Standard but not without some debate over what gets Andy’s “event of the week.” The Magical Kenya Open makes a strong bid. We review the Fan Vote choices and decide to make an official endorsement for Friday in a bid to upset the best laid plans for the heavy favorites. Then we get into some the comments from Tiger, bad press conference questions, the “brand equity” of the new trophy, and Justin Rose insisting the new March date makes this target golf. Then we embrace debate on the pros and cons of the schedule change, discussing firm and fast vs. increased winds. We discuss our favorite holes at Sawgrass, our favorite Players champions, and our favorite controversy. We recall that time cows grazed on Augusta National in our Masters fact of the day before wrapping with Paulie’s picks and fantasy intel for the richest purse of the season. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify
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