Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Widely considered the 5th major of the golf season, the Players Championship is coming up this weekend at TPC at Sawgrass.  This golf course is located in Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida and of course will be played Thursday, May 10 through Sunday, May 13.  This tournament offers the largest purse of any golf tournament and this year it will be a total of $9.5 million.  A total of 145 players will be playing this year including most of the world's top 50.  The list can be found here.

Thursday and Friday, coverage will be 1-7pm on the Golf Channel.  The Golf Channel will also be covering the tournament Saturday and Sunday from 12-2 before NBC takes over until 7pm each afternoon.

Up until 2007, this tournament was usually played in late March, a couple weeks before the Masters.  However the PGA restructured their schedule to have major tournaments for 6 months (Masters, Players, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship, FedEx Cup).  It is now a fixture for the top players in the world in between the Masters and US Open and the final round now coincides with Mother's Day.

Greg Norman, a.k.a the Shark, and one of my father's all-time favorite players (I think he has a couple of his hats lying around the house) has the course record.  In 1994, he shot a 264 over the 4 days for a -24 under par to break Nicklaus' nearly 20 year old record of -19.  Since then, no one has come within 6 shots of that record.  KJ Choi is the defending champion and no American has won since 2007 when Phil did it.  

The Players was introduced in 1974 and the inaugural championship was won by Jack Nicklaus who also has the most titles at this course with three.  Only 4 other players have won it twice and no one back to back.

This tournament may be best known for its par three 17th hole.  In fact, one could argue it is the most famous hole in any golf tournament today.  Known as the "island green," it is in the middle of what is considered to be the toughest final 3 holes in golf.  
Championships are won and lost here...golf balls are definitely lost here
Tee times are typically announced Wednesday before the Players begins so check back then to get an idea about how I feel groups will do heading into the weekend.


Captain Davis Love III will choose 4 others based on his "gut"


Also, my favorite "new generation" golfer Rickie Fowler finally got off the schnide this past weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship by winning on the first playoff hole for his first professional victory.  After 2 years on the tour and a strong debut in the Ryder Cup as a rookie, it is nice to see Fowler get the first one.  Sometimes the hype and attention can lead to a quick downfall but at 23, Rickie has shown strong mental aptitude.  If you haven't seen the music video he is in check it out here.  He is in the all black outfit.

I love his Puma gear and he even beat #1 player Rory McIlroy in the first playoff hole. I smell a rivalry!