It was a pretty terrific week of golf at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with Bryson DeChambeau coming away with the title. He did things that no one would have even dreamed of doing this weekend at Bay Hill, it was amazing to watch. I also really enjoyed him paying homage to the King with the wearing of Arnie’s classic red cardigan to accept the trophy. I really wish Rory could have gotten it going over the weekend, he came out in overdrive on Thursday but then couldn’t get out of neutral the rest of the week. Enough about last week, it’s time to move on.
One year ago, THE PLAYERS Championship was cut short after just one round of play. COVID-19 forced golf to shut down for nearly three months. I remember watching the first round at work with a few buddies and then all of us were sent home the next day and some of the staff have not been back in the building since. I just had to take a second to reflect on what a crazy year it has been. It’ll be good to see these guys back out there competing on a fantastic golf course like TPC Sawgrass.
The PGA Tour pushes the Players Championship as its fifth major. TPC Sawgrass plays host to this event and known best for its signature 17th hole, a par 3 with an Island Green. This hole is one of the most exciting holes to watch on Tour and it has shattered the dreams of many PGA pros. While the 17th is what brings in the casual golf fans, there is a lot more to dive into at Sawgrass.
Like most of the Florida course, accuracy is the name of the game. This track is not particularly long at 7,215 yards but it can trip you up in many ways. These golfers will feel a false sense of security at times. They must know how to get themselves out of trouble which means scrambling becomes a key stat of the weekend. TPC Sawgrass was designed by Pete Dye and if you've ever played one of his courses, you know it can be quite a humbling experience. Luck has a crucial role at the Players because depending on where you land the ball on these sloping greens, they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. The greens are big and these players will attack them but buyer beware because they are known to be very fast.
When you look at course history, players who are known as good course managers have had the most success. We're looking Tee-to-Green players with excellent greens in regulation (GIR) numbers and once again take a look at Strokes Gained: Approach to the Green as a key stat. Players must avoid hazards and disastrous situations, so length off the tee is not as important as landing your ball in the fairway. This is a difficult course and no tour player is completely safe from missing the cut. 154 players in the field and the Top 65 with ties will play on the weekend. This is another event where you've got a stacked field and unless you are playing 150 lineups, it's impossible to play all of the guys at the top. Most every player that is listed at 9K and above has a legit chance of winning this weekend. The players I listed below are the players I'll based my lineups around but sure I may have a couple with DJ and Bryson but I'll be underweight on them.
As always, I wish you all the best of luck and make sure you follow me on Twitter @Drew_Phelps83. Please feel free to tweet me throughout the weekend about the tournament. Let’s all win big!
My One and Done Play is Tommy Fleetwood.