The Players Championship – Who Will be Victorious

by Maura Hutchinson

The Players Championship – Who Will be Victorious
It might not be a major, but the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass is still considered to be one of the best events on the PGA Tour schedule. Celebrating its 36 consecutive year at the Pete Dye designed course, 2017 promises to bring the drama you’ve come to expect with 48 of the world’s top-50 players teeing off this morning.

With a killer course setup as well as boasting one of the largest winner’s purses, this tournament goes a long way in attracting the biggest names in golf year after year. The 2017 line up includes returning champion Jason Day, world number one Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

Who to Watch?

Rory McIlroy

The world number two heads to Florida this week a married man and newly signed TaylorMade player. Putting the 2017 M2 Driver and M2 Tour Fairway Woods in his bag. This is McIlroy’s first tournament since last month’s Masters. Will he be fresh enough to take on TPC Sawgrass? We can’t wait to see!

Sergio Garcia

Fresh off his first major victory at Augusta, Garcia heads to TPC Sawgrass with his good luck charm in tow – the Green Jacket - although the 37-year-old might not need it. Having won here in 2008, Garcia has a pretty good track record at The Players. Racking up six-top-10 finishes at the event the Spaniard feels optimistic about his return to the PGA Tour.

Telling reporters this week, “It’s my most favourite golf course in the U.S.” Adding, “It’s a course where I feel very comfortable, for the most part. That has led to some really good finishes.”

Jason Day

After a tough start to 2017 former world number one Jason Day is looking to turn his luck around on the course. What better place to start than the scene of his last victory? As the 29-year-old gets set to defend his title at TPC Sawgrass he told reporters about the mental and emotional pressures being and losing the number one spot had caused him.

“For a moment there after I lost my number one world ranking, I kind of lost the desire to be there, and I think it was just because I was mentally burnt out from everything that had gone on,” said Day.

But the current world number three feels ready to start pushing for the top once again.

Stating, “What I’m trying to focus on is getting back to that winning form, getting back to the workload that I was doing and the practice and the work ethic, and hopefully the results will come after that.”

All we can say is watch out DJ!!!!

Dustin Johnson

How could we not include the current world number one on the list to watch this weekend? While he might have had to sit out The Masters due to a freak back injury, Dustin Johnson has returned to the Tour and is ready to prove he’s in top form. Competing for the first time at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship, DJ stormed back into play finishing the tournament in second place. This week the TaylorMade player told reporters he feels more than ready to take on TPC Sawgrass this year.

“I haven’t had a lot of success around here, so it’s definitely a challenge for me. But I feel like if I’m going to play well here, this is the time that I will play well.”

The Real Star of The Players…. #17

Perhaps the most recognised hole in all of golf, number 17 at TPC Sawgrass has given way to many of the most interesting tournament highlights over the past three decades. Responsible for some amazing wins as well as a few disastrous endings, just ask Sean O’Hair and Sergio Garcia!

Surrounded by water on three sides with spectators lining the outer edges, this is the weekend’s make or break hole. Leading many to observe you don’t win on 17, you lose on it. Or as Luke Donald once put it, “It’s do-or-die.”

With golf being a game of precision, the 17th lends its way to being possibly the most unforgiving hole there is. Hit it too long, water, hit it too short, water, too far to the right, water, too far to the left- you get the picture.

This is the ultimate mind game for even the most seasoned golfer. With 600 FedEx Cup points and a whooping $10.5 million purse up for grabs, you can bet the pressure is on as the players tee off this week. We can’t wait to see how they fare this year on the 17th!

During Wednesday’s practice round the 2015 Players Champion Rickie Fowler aced the 17th. Here’s hoping he can produce a shot like this again in the next four days!