The Players Championship Betting Tips & Preview – Thursday 10th May 2018

Golf tournaments simply do not get any better than the Players Championship. The flagship event on the PGA Tour is a major in all but name with the strongest field of the year competing at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course. We can’t wait for the action to get going.

Despite the strength of the field that was assembled in Ponte Vedra last year it was 500/1 shot, Si-woo Kim, who ended the week victorious, winning with a score of 278, 10 under par. Kim coped best with the renovations made to the Stadium Course, most notably the firmer greens, but having had a year to acclimatise themselves to the changes, the best of the best should bite back.

On the back of a third place at the Masters and with the chance to reclaim the number one spot in the rankings, Jordan Spieth is especially well placed to win at a course which he has spoken glowingly about. But, as always, he’ll face plenty of challengers along the way.

Top Tips

Jordan Spieth @ 16/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is an absolute masterpiece of golf course design from one of the best in the business, Pete Dye. Complemented by the recent modifications which included the relaying of all 18 greens, the par 72, 7,189 yard layout is as fair as test of golf as you’ll find. It’s also incredibly challenging with special emphasis placed on strategy off the tee, getting up and down for par and hitting consistently good quality approach shots into the small, firm greens.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
The Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass Ponte Vedra, Florida 7,189 Yards $10,500,000

Recent Winners

As mentioned, Si-woo Kim won in 2017, posting the second highest winning score of the last decade. Other notable victors in recent years include Rickie Fowler by way of a play-off in 2015 and Tiger Woods in 2013.

YearWinnerTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Si-woo Kim -10 3 Strokes
2016 Jason Day -12 4 Strokes
2015 Rickie Fowler -12 Playoff
2014 Martin Kaymer -13 1 Stroke
2013 Tiger Woods -13 2 Strokes

Analysis: Ball Strikers Poised to Rise to the Challenge

The Stadium Course does not particularly favour one style of golf over any other. It’s certainly not a course which can be easily overpowered nor is it a glorified putting contest. It poses a well balance test of golf and for that reason it makes sense to ignore the appeal of players who gain a large number of strokes against the field both off the tee and on the greens.

That’s not to say that Rory McIlroy or Phil Mickelson can’t win this week, just that they’ll have to adapt their style of play which makes backing them slightly too risky. Instead, you want to look for players who regularly outscore the competition both in strokes gained approaching the green and around the green.

Spieth Can End Horror Run in the Best Possible Fashion

When Jordan Spieth made his debut at the Players Championship in 2014 he was still relatively unknown. TPC Sawgrass is a very tough place to play well on debut so golf fans sat up and took notice of Spieth’s fourth place finish that year. He has, however, since disappointed with a run of three straight missed cuts at the Ponte Vedra venue.

Despite his horrible run, Spieth cannot help but talk positively about the Stadium Course and his chances of success at the venue. He has had problems with his driving and putting over the last year or so but Spieth’s iron play and his ability to fashion incredible shots around the green have generally kept him competitive. He comes into the Players Championship ranking eighth for stokes gained approaching the green and 12th for strokes gained around the green. Those stats and the fact that he can retake the world number one ranking from Dustin Johnson this week, make Spieth look the best option among the favourites in the betting at 16/1 with Ladbrokes.

Cabrera Bello to Fire Again

Rafa Cabrera Bello found out just how tough the Stadium Course can play when he missed the cut on debut in 2016. However, the Spaniard fared much better last year. His fourth placed finish of 12 months ago will give Cabrera Bello great confidence as he travels to Ponte Vedra while the chance to give himself a huge boost in the European Ryder Cup rankings provides even greater motivation. At 110/1 with Betfred, Cabrera Bello certainly screams each way value.

DeChambeau Can Surprise on Debut

Bryson DeChambeau will have heard time and time again just how difficult it is to perform well on your first visit to TPC Sawgrass but he’s never been one to listen to dissenting voices. The quirky American goes about his business his own way. His scientific approach brought him great success as an amateur and it is really starting to pay dividends on the professional ranks. Already a PGA Tour winner, DeChambeau came close to more success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage and the Wells Fargo Championship. There is no reason he can’t carry on his great run of form into this week and return from an each way bet at 55/1 with Betfred.

Final Verdict: Jordan Spieth to win

The nature of the Stadium Course and the incredible quality on show this week means that you can make a case for a large number of players. However, it’s Jordan Spieth who looks the best option. Spieth is desperate to re-establish himself as the best of this incredibly talented generation of young golfers and can add the so called fifth major to his tally of three major championships.

About

Outside of the majors, The Players is probably the biggest tournament on the PGA Tour. In fact, it's often dubbed as the 5th major, an unofficial title that people have deemed fit for the tournament. To further back up its claims of its superiority over the majority of events, the purse of $10.5million is the largest purse of any tournament in the world, including majors.

It's been running since 1974 and is hosted by TPC Sawgrass in Florida. The course is actually the home of the USGA (United States Golf Association) and the tournament played out on the Stadium Course. Interestingly, for the 2017 the course was actually shortened for the first time since 1982, which is rare in an era where courses seem to be getting forever longer.

The Players currently takes place in May but is being moved back again to March to accommodate for the earlier running of the PGA Championship. Jack Nicklaus currently holds the record for the most wins at the course with 3 in total. Other notable multiple winners include Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III and Tiger Woods, all with 2 wins a piece.

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