It’s the unofficial first major of the 2021-2022 PGA Tour season.  THE PLAYERS Championship is pushed by the tour as the fifth major with a top tier field and a huge pay day.  The tour moved it to March a few years ago with the idea of avoiding the NFL season.  

TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida plays host to this event and is 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 also plays a critical 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 they are also known to be very fast.  

The biggest factor this weekend will be the weather.  There is a 75 percent chance or greater of rain Thursday through Saturday.  You hate to see something like rain determine the winner but that’s the cold hard truth. 

When you look at course history, players who are known as good course managers have had the most success.  We're looking for Tee-to-Green players with excellent GIR numbers and once again take a look at Strokes Gained: Approach to the Green as a key stats. 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.  There are 144 players in the field and the Top 65 and ties will see weekend action.

There are some interesting trends heading into this week’s event.  Nine of the last 11 winners of THE PLAYERS had already scored a Top 5 finish in a tournament in the same calendar year.  The last 14 winners finished in the Top 25 at THE PLAYERS in the previous year.    

I just wanted to take a moment to remind all my readers that the players listed in my playbook are the golfers that I personally recommend using this weekend.  All the 8K plus golfers on DraftKings have the capability to win this tournament but you must draw the line somewhere because you obviously cannot use all of them. After doing my research, the players I've listed are the ones that I'm building my lineups around.  Just because I did not list a certain player in the playbook, does not mean I am completely fading them this weekend.  I may throw him into one GPP but I will be underweight on him.  I have personally chosen to ride ... weekend and we will see how it all shakes out.

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 Justin Thomas.


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