Yes, it’s that time of year. Where fellow golf enthusiasts will be tuning into NBC for another edition of the Player’s Championship. It’s as good as anything to speculate on. Might as well serve up a preview, Comical Golfer style. Below are some of the current favorites set to take home the lion’s share of the $10.5 million dollar purse. A tidy little $1.89 mill is awaiting the winner. With traditionally the deepest field of the year, it’s what could be deemed a wide open betting affair.
- Rory McIlroy 15/2
- Jordan Spieth 19/2
- Jason Day 10/1
- Rickie Fowler 17/1
- Justin Rose 24/1
- Dustin Johnson 25/1
- Adam Scott 26/1
- Hideki Matsuyama 26/1
- Sergio Garcia 26/1
- Henrik Stenson 30/1
- Bubba Watson 35/1
- Phil Mickelson 35/1
- Danny Willett 35/1
**prop bet/Sergio whining 1/1**
*odds courtesy of VegasInsider, for complete field visit here*
Contenders, at random
Rory is favored every week he tees it up. Crystal clear logic in that. But, something seems ‘off” about the Irishman. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Seemingly always in contention, his ability to close lately has left us (and him) wanting. Perhaps more time working on his putting stroke and less on his physique?
Spieth and his Masters collapse, ugh. The guy is 22 years old, with multiple Majors already. And a set for life bank account. I’m sure we can all agree he’s doing just fine. Did the Masters sting? Absolutely. However, he’s fiercely competitive with what has to be the best putting stroke since Faxon or Crenshaw. This Texan will be back hoisting a trophy in no time. But not this week.
Fowler, last year’s dramatic winner, enters the week in fine form. Notwithstanding last Sunday’s poor showing at Quail Hollow, Rickie can and will contend. Sawgrass seems tailor made for the flat billed one, and his aggressive yet solid putting should serve him well. Status: in the hunt
Philly Mick. A revamped swing for 2016 has the crafty veteran playing with confidence. But I always go back to his quote from the oft-aired commercial. “I can’t believe I actually won here.” Clearly not a track Lefty adores. At 35/1 he is tempting, but going to pass.
Not sure how Jason Day ever loses a tournament. Are there any flaws in his game? With extreme length, a high ball flight, and phenomenal short game the Aussie has it all. Health seems to be his biggest concern I suppose. His back issues and vertigo seem to be in check, and I’m hoping that continues to be true. Should be threatening to take it all late Sunday. 10/1 is certainly a square price.
In all fairness, the guy has made some pretty good strides in recent years. A preeminent ball striker, the Spaniard has an affinity for TPC Sawgrass. A victory here in 2008 had him on the verge of fulfilling his boundless potential.
Then his head got in the way. Or his fiery emotions. Or….who knows? Then his excruciating ‘re-gripping’ phase. (what was that all about?) Taken from a Sun Sentinel article by Randall Mell: “I feel I’m not going to hit a shot until I’m ready,” Garcia said. “If it takes me a hundred re-grips, I’m going to take a hundred re-grips, I don’t care.” Mercifully, he did overcome this. But that quote says a lot. How about the other guys competing and you torturing them? Apparently not his problem.
Tiger love at the Players
Sergio should never have any financial hardships. But if he does, a career as a sommelier would be right up his alley. Perhaps a vintner? May I recommend a lovely bottle of the ’13 Garcia’s Whiniest? Long time adversaries, it all boiled over in 2013 at Sawgrass. Not newsworthy now, but worth revisiting. Wood’s power to intimidate was not gone at this time, but it was on the decline. No matter, he still rocketed to victory as Garcia flamed out down the stretch. But it was Tiger’s ‘fault’. Tiger was distracting him. Yea, ok. So? On the uptick, he won’t need worry if he gets in contention. Tiger won’t be there to horrify him. Who knows really? Garcia might have the week of his life. I’ll be eating some crow. If he does happen to win again, he’ll still find something to bellyache about along the way.
What else are good bets this week? Johnny Miller dissing someone? That’s a gimme, even money. Trying to remember when I first heard the traditional Player’s theme music? It’s from the old western classic, The Man From Snowy River. Certainly you needed to know that. Thanks, IMDB.
Between 4-7 times you will hear them mention Gary Koch’s famous “better than most” call. It’s actually quite enjoyable to revisit. A dramatic moment, spectacular outcome. I think Koch is a terrific announcer. Doesn’t give too much fluff. Good “TV voice.” The over/under for them replaying it? 4.
How many times will they tell us this is becoming the “5th Major?” What a load of crap. Sure, the field is deep and it has a gigantic purse. I won’t even argue that the venue is spectacular. And of course, the exemptions and accolades that accompany. Happy to win the Players? Silly question of course. But John Q. Pro would be just as pleased to win the Any Town, USA Invitational. The Players is about the money and more for the sake of the PGA itself. Of course, the touring pros benefit in the long run, but that doesn’t mean they like it. Merchandise, ticket revenues, TV……this is the flagship event for them(PGA corp.) to rake in the dough. As for the players, it seems more like a course they endure vs. relish.
The postage stamp that is the 17th hole. Was fortunate enough to play it in 2010. Double bogey from a buck thirty-five. Rinsed my 1st, hit the green with my 3rd and two- putted. Honestly, could not believe how small it actually is. They say TV adds 10 lbs. I guess it also adds that in circumference to inanimate objects.
With the stadium atmosphere, it endures as one of the most famous holes in all of golf. Rightfully so. No more than a pitching wedge for most, it has rattled the best of them for years. Obviously, there is no bailout. Dastardly design for sure. Bet your bottom dollar if you watch even a slice of the coverage, you’ll see the replay of the infamous ‘hole in three‘ Fred Couples made back in ’99. Over/under on that is 3. That’s cool though, who doesn’t love Freddie? In fact, might as well watch it again now.
Though I won’t be buying into the ‘5Th’ Major hoopla, of course, I’ll be watching. Golf addict, can’t be controlled. I’d watch the Poughkeepsie Open if there was one and it was on TV. At 250/1, Kiradech Aphibarnrat is one of the longest shots in the field. But what a name right?! If he wins you’re guaranteed to hear that butchered by Johnny and the gang! If only Gary McCord was with NBC, it’d be a real gas to hear him calling the action on the 17th……
Got a feeling it’s Dustin Johnson’s week. Massive talent. If his putter ever heats up, he’ll be unstoppable. A generous 25/1, DJ is offering too much value to resist.