Hello, friends and degenerates! The penultimate stop on the PGA Tour’s Florida swing is up next: The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you, dear readers, this is the most difficult tournament of the year to predict. Fortunately, you’ve got me. And me on an off week is still better than you on an on week.
The Players Championship has treated golf nuts like you and me to some of the best drama of the entire year. It’s also given us some of the least likely winners in recent memory. There are no amateurs in this field so, unlike the Masters, there’s no one you can automatically write off.
Simply put, The Players is chaos… beautiful, frustrating chaos.
With all that stacked against us, ole No. 1 still expects to beat the odds and cash in. Here’s a look at your can’t-miss, no-doubt, sure-fire, mortal locks for golf’s fifth major.
The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass – Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
March 14 – 17, 2019
ODDS to Win:
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||50/1|
|Si Woo Kim||60/1|
|Charles Howell III||60/1|
|Byeong Hun An||80/1|
|Field (all others)||12/1|
Rory McIlroy — I’m sure I’ll get crucified for this, but I believe in Rory McIlroy this week. His play in early part of the PGA Tour season has been incredible. If he were anyone but Rory McIlroy, we’d have nothing but good things to say. For anyone talking about him giving away the AP Invitational last week, shut it. Did you see what Francesco Molinari did? He took it from everyone else. Do Rors recent Sunday performances make me a little nervous? Sure — but it’s not like he’s collapsed. At 12/1, he’s the co-favorite with Dustin Johnson.
Brooks Koepka — It’s not too often you can find Brooks Koepka getting 20/1 or better money anymore — so when he is gettin that kind of action, you better be paying attention. Yes, I’ve heard about his track record at Sawgrass. I know he’s never had a top-10 here blah blah blah. Brooks Koepka is getting 20/1 money in a crown jewel PGA Tour event being held at a track where he holds the course record: Please sir, I’ll have some more.
Tommy Fleetwood — I spent most of last week cursing my crystal brain for failing to spot Tommy Fleetwood. Of course, he didn’t win so it was fine (someone else I missed did, which was not fine), but any idiot can see that Fleetwood is just heating up. This week, the Englishman is getting 25/1 money. That’s a terrific return on investment for a guy who is going to win and win soon.
Henrik Stenson — Sometimes I think that bookies just run an algorithm on the Google machine to see who the most talked about golfers are the week preceding an event and then give them the worst odds. That’s the only way I can explain a guy like Henrik Stenson getting 50/1 money this week. Last I checked, bookies don’t like losing — and this presents an opportunity for them to do so in a large way. A winner here in 2009, the Iceman has collected nine top-25 finishes in 13 career starts. If you’re not starting Stenson this week, you’re a foolish human being.
Fun Under $5
Michael Thompson — There’s absolutely nothing suggesting Michael Thompson will win The Players this week. Then again, there was absolutely nothing that suggested Si-Woo Kim was going to win in 2017. There was nothing that suggested Stephen Ames was going to win in 2006. There was nothing that suggested Craig Perks was going to win in 2002. See what I’m getting at? At 150/1, why not? You can literally throw a buck on anyone at 100/1 or worse and I’d shrug my shoulders and agree with you. That’s what The Players can do.
There you have it, friends and degenerates. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go pick up my new set of Honma golf clubs and personalized iron covers.
Until next time, go and choose wisely…