First Look at 2021 The Players Championship
The 2021 Players Championship marks the one-year anniversary since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of the USA 9and world), sports and professional golf for a solid three months. Hideki Matsuyama tied the course record with a 63 before the tournament was called-off last spring.
Rory McIlroy is the defending champion from the 2019 Players Championship. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is the favorite.
The 2021 Players Championship field will featured 48 of the top 50 in the world, with only Brooks Koepka and Matthew Wolff not scheduled to play. It is the PGA Tour’s “Fifth Major” and an “All-Star Game that Counts” all-in-one.
The 2021 Players will allow for 20% of capacity at TPC Sawgrass. Players volunteer chairman Troy Smith said the number of volunteers has been reduced from 2,200 to around 1,500. The Players will be only the fifth PGA Tour event to allow fans since golf resumed. Fans were permitted in Houston, Bermuda, Scottsdale, and last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando.
Weather for Thursday: Partly Cloudy with a 10% chance of rain. Temperature expected to be 63-degrees with winds from East at 11 mph. The forecast is similar for Friday, but mostly sunny with winds ranging from East/NE at 9 mph. Expect Partly cloudy skies and similar weather and 10-11 mph winds on the weekend.
PGATourBrunch will be serving an early “BRUNCH” and posting at 6am ET Thursday-Friday and 7:00am ET Saturday-Sunday to meet the early tee-off times.
Next Week: The Honda Classic
Brooks Koepka (strained right knee) - OUT; Anirban Lahiri (in)
Danny Willett (WD) (COVID+ test) - OUT
Willett Tests COVID+ (ESPN)
John Huh (OUT from alternate list)
THIS WEEK on the PGA TOUR: The Players
COURSE: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
ARCHITECT: Pete Dye.
YARDS/PAR: 7,189 yards/Par 72
PRIZE Money/First Place Winnings: $15,000,000/$2,700,000
DEFENDING Champion from 2019: Rory McIlroy (2019 Leaderboard link)
PAST RESULTS: (link)
PAST CHAMPIONS of Event: (link)
FEDEx CUP Points Available/Winner Share: 3,375/600
SOCIAL MEDIA: #PGATour #FedEXCup @ThePlayersChamp
TV COVERAGE: Thursday, March 11 and Friday, March 12: 12:00pm to 6:00pm (ET) on Golf Channel. Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14 - 1:00pm to 6:00pm (ET) on NBC.
STREAMING: PGA Tour Live will offer streaming coverage of Featured Groups on Thursday and Friday from 6:30am to 6:00pm (ET); and on Saturday (7:45am-6:00pm ET) and Sunday (7:45am-6:00pm ET), PGA Tour Live will stream Featured Holes on Saturday (3:00pm to 6:00pm ET) and Sunday from 2:30pm to 6:00pm (ET).
PGA Tour is also offering “Every Shot Live” on Thursday and Friday from 6:45am to 8:00pm ET and on Saturday and Sunday from 7:50am to 6:00pm (ET).
PGA TOUR RADIO COVERAGE: Thursday, March 11 - Friday, March 12 - 11:00am to 6:00pm (ET); then Saturday, March 13 and Sunday, March 14: (12:00pm to 6:00pm (ET)) on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. PGA Tour Radio is available on Sirius 208/XM 92) or online on PGATour.com.
Remember: Eastern Standard Time switches to Eastern Daylight Time on Saturday night. (clocks will “Spring Ahead” one hour.
TOURNAMENT SITE (link)
Odds & Predictions:
A L👀K at the O👀S and a PREDICTION OR TWO:
2021 The Players Championship - odds (via William Hill)
Dustin Johnson 12-1
Rory McIlroy 16-1
Bryson DeChambeau 16-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Justin Thomas 20-1
Webb Simpson 22-1
Collin Morikawa 22-1
Patrick Cantlay 22-1
Tony Finau 25-1
Jordan Spieth 25-1
Viktor Hovland 25-1
Tyrrell Hatton 33-1
Tommy Fleetwood 35-1
Scottie Scheffler 35-1
Hideki Matsuyama 35-1
Patrick Reed 35-1
Daniel Berger 35-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 40-1
Sungjae Im 45-1
Paul Casey 45-1
Jason Day 45-1
Joaquin Niemann 50-1
Cameron Smith 50-1
Louis Oosthuizen 55-1
Adam Scott 55-1
Will Zalatoris 60-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 66-1
Jason Kokrak 66-1
Lee Westwood 70-1
Sergio Garcia 70-1
Harris English 70-1
Max Homa 70-1
Billy Horschel 70-1
Abraham Ancer 70-1
Justin Rose 80-1
Corey Conners 80-1
Kevin Na 90-1
Francesco Molinari 90-1
Marc Leishman 100-1
Russell Henley 100-1
Lanto Griffin 100-1
Sam Burns 100-1
Si-Woo Kim 100-1
Carlos Ortiz 100-1
Kevin Kisner 100-1
TL’s Wedge Edge: For the weekly PGA Tour Fantasy Game, my initial foursome will be coming VERY strong, no holding back: Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Webb Simpson. Back-ups on the bench in this incredibly strong field are: Viktor Hovland and Hideki Matsuyama.
For PGA Tour One and Done? I’m going a different route and selecting my back-up Hideki Matsuyama and his (35-1) odds for a player some might overlook. Remember, he was leading after R-1 last year before they pulled the plug on 2020 Players.
Quick Look/Key Information:
Last Week’s Final Leaderboard from the Arnold Palmer Invitational (link)
2020 Players was cancelled during the tournament due to COVID-19 break-out
2019 Players Championship Results (Rory McIlroy was Champion) - (link)
Past Winners and Runners-Up at The Players (link)
What They’re Saying:
Power Rankings Heading into The Players (PGATourCom)
Horses for the Course (PGATourCom)
Internal “OB” on 18th Hole of TPC Sawgrass (PGATourCom)
Bryson-Proof at TPC Sawgrass (ESPN)
2020: Nobody Knew What Was Going On (ESPN))
Rory Defending Champ, Two Years Later (ESPN)
What Happened to Rickie Fowler (ESPN)
“Better Than Most” - (GolfWeek/USA Today)
#SportsBiz, Sporting Gambling and Golf Industry News
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan Update (Jacksonville Times-Union)
PGA Jay Monahan Returns to Players a Year After (Golf Week/USA Today)
CBS Sports Odds and Predictions (CBS Sports HQ)
Expert Picks (PGATourCom)
Sleeper Picks (PGATourCom)
“No Canada” - RBC is Nixed (GolfWeek/USA Today)
On This Day in Golf History:
March 10, 1985 - Playing in just his third event after undergoing back surgery the previous September, reigning U.S. Open Champion Fuzzy Zoeller won his seventh PGA Tour title with a final round (67) to win the Bay Hill Invitational in Orlando. (Courtesy of Randy Walker), Author of On This Day in Golf History, available via Amazon.com and by clicking HERE
While We’re Young (Ideas):
Be SURE to test drive the weekly Sunday Sports Notes Column, “While We’re Young (Ideas)” by @TerryLyons. Sent once a week for your (late) Saturday night or Early Sunday morning entertainment. You can sample and subscribe HERE