This week, the top golfers in the world will make their way to TPC Sawgrass for The PLAYERS Championship. This will be the 42nd year that TPC Sawgrass has hosted the event. The top-50 golfers, as well as Tiger Woods, have committed to play this week. While the players do not love this course, the iconic “Island Green” on Hole #17 will be sure to bring plenty of thrills. Last year, Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth shared the lead heading into Sunday, but Kaymer would come out victorious. Kaymer ended up shooting 12 under par, one better than runner-up Jim Furyk.
My picks for this week:
1) Rory McIlroy (1) – The world’s number one player proved it by outlasting 63 other golfers and winning last week’s Match Play Championship. McIlroy has six top-11 finishes in seven 2015 starts. After missing the cut in his first three trips to THE PLAYERS, Mcilroy tied for 8th in 2013 and shared 6th last year.
2) Jordan Spieth (3) – I am going with the world’s number one and two ranked players this week. Spieth has had two wins and two runner-ups in his past six starts. Although he did not make it out of his initial group at the Match Play, he went 2-1 and would have led the field if it were stroke play. In his lone trip to THE PLAYERS, Spieth shared the lead heading into Sunday, but fell into a tie for 4th.
1) Marc Leishman (1) – Leishman took some time off due to his wife’s illness, but has shown some nice form since his return. Leishman only shared 28th at the Zurich Classic, but did shoot a second round 63. Last week at the Match Play Championship, Leishman made it out if his initial group and ended up in a tie for 9th. Leishman has top-25’s in each of his past two trips to TPC Sawgrass, including a share of 8th in 2013.
2) Matt Jones (0) – I would take Martin Laird here if he gets into the field. Right now he is the first alternate. Jones is coming off a disappointing Match Play Championship, but he does have three top-15’s in his past six events. Jones tied for 17th last year at THE PLAYERS.
1) Lee Westwood (5) – I can only use Lee three more times, but I couldn’t leave him out this week. Lee advanced out of Jordan Spieth’s group at the Match Play and the week prior, he won the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters. Westwood has top-8 finishes in three of his past four trips to TPC Sawgrass. Last year, Westwood tied for 6th.
2) Danny Willett (0) – I do like some guys better in this group, but I have to start saving my starts for later in the season. Willett shared 38th at the Masters and then made it all the way to the final four at last week’s Match Play Championship. Willett would end up losing to Gary Woodland, but defeated Jim Furyk for 3rd place.
Other Golfers Considered:
Jim Furyk (Tier A): In his last two starts, Furyk won the RBC Heritage and finished fourth at the Match Play Championship. Last year, Furyk finished runner-up to Martin Kaymer at THE PLAYERS.
Louis Oosthuizen (Tier B): Oosthuizen is always a guy I consider, but once again I need to start saving some of his starts for later in the year. In his last three starts, Oosty tied for 19th at the Masters, shared 7th at the RBC Heritage, and tied for 5th at the Match Play Championship.
Paul Casey (Tier C): Casey has top-10 finishes in each of his past three starts. However, he does not have a good track record at TPC Sawgrass and I can only use Casey four more times this year.