The Players Championship is often considered the fifth major by the competitors on the PGA Tour.
The competition at TPC Sawgrass is one of the toughest on the circuit and provides almost as much prestige as lifting one of the major crowns.
South Korea’s Kim Si-woo won the event last season by three strokes ahead of Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen, securing the title for the first time of his career.
Jack Nicklaus holds the record most wins at the event, with three triumphs to his name. However, Tiger Woods is just one behind him and is eyeing the crown in his bid to return to peak form.
We’ll now breakdown the leading contenders for the title.
The Australian won the event in 2016 on his rise to be world number one. He has been up-and-down over the past year, but found his best form last week to triumph at the Wells Fargo Championship. It was his second win on the PGA Tour of the current campaign following his triumph at the Farmers Insurance Open. Day was not on form at Augusta, with a poor performance on his opening round knocking him out of contention. The 30-year-old has been consistent and has made every cut on the tour this term.
His outing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, highlighted his issues as he ruined two fine rounds of 64 and 67, with two awful days where was over-par. However, Day managed to put those issues aside last week at Wells Fargo with four fine displays from start-to-finish. As a result, Day will enter TPC Sawgrass with momentum and a strong history at the course. Back him to win the competition for the second time at odds of +1600 with 888Sport.
Spieth has been inconsistent on the PGA Tour this season, leaving him without a victory. He has finished in the top-10 on five occasions, including at the Masters. However, the American has just not quite been at his best throughout a tournament to triumph. The 23-year-old rounded into good form at the Houston Open, finishing in tied-third after four consistent days of fine golf. He took that momentum into Augusta and dominated proceedings on the first day with a round of 66.
Spieth lost his way on Friday and Saturday, leaving him with an uphill challenge in his attempt to win the Green Jacket. He almost pulled it off with an outstanding display of eight-under on his final round. It wasn’t to be as he finished behind his compatriot Patrick Reed by a narrow margin. Spieth had good first day at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, but an underwhelming outing on his second round saw him miss the cut at four-under. He’s always a contender, but has to put it together at least on three of his rounds to get over the line at odds of +1600 with 888Sport.
McIlroy had a tough start to the season, struggling to find his best form on the tour. However, the 28-year-old had a major breakthrough at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He was outstanding on his final round, firing a round of 64 to win the competition. McIlroy was off the boil in his next outing at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, missing the knockout phase of the competition. However, the Northern Irishman appeared to be firing on all cylinders at the Masters, playing solid rounds in the first two days of the competition.
He made his charge with a seven-under round of 65 to put the pressure on Reed at the top of the leaderboard. The 28-year-old pulled within two strokes on the final day, but he couldn’t sustain his performance and fell away to place off the pace in tied-fifth on nine-under. The Wells Fargo Championship began well, but a poor second round knocked him out of contention, although he made the cut unlike Spieth. McIlroy couldn’t issue a challenge to Day, but at his best he is just as devastating as Speith. Back him at odds of +1400 with BetVictor to win at TPC Sawgrass.
Reed is in the form of his life and could back up his triumph at Augusta with his first win at TPC Sawgrass. Since Reed finished tied-second at the Valspar Championship, the 27-year-old has reeled off six top-10 finishes on the bounce. He missed out at the Valspar Championship, but his form has been sensational on the back of that performance, placing tied-seventh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational along with a surge into the final-16 of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
The Masters was the ultimate goal for the 27-year-old and he was truly outstanding throughout the competition. He was the most consistent player during all four rounds and when he needed a big shot, Reed always managed to come to the fore. The American deserved to win the Green Jacket, his first breakthrough in the majors. He has been on song since with a tied-seventh finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and an eight-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, producing consistency on all eight days of action. Reed has the level of play to add another crown to the list at odds of +3300 at 888Sport.
Rahm has been a contender on the tour throughout the season, beginning with his early win at the CareerBuilder Challenge. The Spaniard had previously finished second at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of the year, finding his form at the start of 2018. He was in a strong position at the Waste Management Phoenix Open heading into the final round, but was not able to lift his performance on the final day placing in 11th. Rahm was solid but unspectacular World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship before failing to reach the latter phase of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
His first day at the Masters was a poor one as he finished three-over on his opening round. However, he bounced back to play himself into contention, although like Spieth, the Spaniard left himself too much to do on his final round. He placed in fourth, which was still a fine achievement. Rahm missed the cut at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, rueing a poor second round of 75. He still has the quality to put it together and find a run towards the crown at odds of +2500 with Betway.
Jason Day To Win The Players Championship
Thursday 10th May 2018 – Sunday 13th May 2018
Patrick Reed To Win The Players Championship
Thursday 10th May 2018 – Sunday 13th May 2018