Woods says he feels good on arrival at Players Championship
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Mar 15, 2019,
Mar 15, 2019, 0:28
The most recent multiple victor is Tiger Woods who recorded his second victory in 2013 and will be looking to join the only other player on three wins in Jack Nicklaus. The prize money is richer than ever at $12.5 million, with $2.25 million going to the victor.
That's because the tournament, which annually features the best field of the season on the PGA Tour, has moved back from May to its original playing date in March and Pete Dye's classic course figures to play much differently.
However, most the players given the best chances to win The Players this year have never done it, as Fowler is the only player in the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings to have won it. The course boasts a ton of water hazards, deep British-style bunkers, and waste areas as well. With a T4 in 2017 around TPC Sawgrass followed by a T17, this is a course that suits Rafa's game and if you factor in the kind of form that he now holds, this could see him be in contention once again. There are numerous years that ... we've all had mud balls, and you have to deal with that type of difficulty coming into these greens.
Surprisingly, most golfers were pretty receptive to the news albeit disappointed. Among them, only Tiger Woods with wins in 2001 and 2013 is competing this weekend.
Woods will be grouped with last year's victor Webb Simpson and 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, teeing off for round one at 1:27pm EST (1727 GMT) tomorrow. He tipped me off last spring that Shinnecock was going to be especially tough a year ago, with a winning score of something around +1.
Rickie Fowler (+2200): Rickie Fowler was the victor of this tournament in 2015, and he is comfortable on this course.
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Francesco Molinari won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, finishing two shots clear of England's Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Brooks Koepka (+2200): Brooks Koepka is quietly building one of the best resumes on the PGA Tour, and is always a contender when he tees it up. And his history at Sawgrass backs that up, with four career top-10 finishes in eight appearances.
While driving distance is important in nearly any event, TPC Sawgrass is one of the courses where getting off the tee isn't as important as playing the short game.
I likely will not go insane in tournament play this week, and will instead hone in on constructing the safest cash game team possible this week.
It looks like it's going down to the deadline again. His accuracy tee-to-green is ideal around TPC Sawgrass and a T7 finish here last year proposes he has a plan that could see him become the second English victor in the States this year.
Now, can you imagine finally getting your shot at the 17th, only to be told at the very last minute you wouldn't be able to tee it up? Follow our live blog for all the latest action here, and follow our shot-by-shot recap of Woods' round below.
The first round begins Thursday morning at 7:40 AM local time from Ponde Vedra Beach.