Perhaps the biggest event of the PGA Tour season that isn’t a major is set to tee off this week at the famed TPC Sawgrass, for the annual Players Championship, golf’s unofficial fifth major.
It’s the fourth designated event of the year on the PGA Tour schedule, and as the previous designated events have shown, it will feature a loaded field, and should see an exciting finish that has so far involved many of the biggest names on the PGA Tour.
This week’s field is no different, with 46 of the Top-50 in the world rankings teeing it up, and more than four million dollars on the line for the winner. With a tough field, a tough course, and a ton on the line, including the longest and largest set of exemptions handed out on the PGA Tour this year, here’s a look at this week’s golf betting picks for the Players Championship.
The Players Championship Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||Rory McIlroy (+900)|
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Why Bet On Rory McIlroy:
✅ When the chips are down and the stars are shining brightest, McIlroy always seems to find a way to elevate his game and put himself in contention. Look no further than last week, where he surged on the weekend to give himself a chance at the win, before setting for second last week at Bay Hill.
✅ He has the track record for it. This is a course he’s dominated before, and has a win in this event under his belt. This is also the type of tournament where once you figure it out, you tend to keep that edge.
✅ This is a course that tests your entire game. You need to be long and straight off the tee, be strong in long approach shots, show touch around the greens, and be able to roll putts in, all while avoiding what might be the most treacherous 3-hole stretch in golf. McIlroy is No. 1 on Tour in tee to green strokes gained, so he has the perfect game for this type of course.
The Players Championship Course: Don’t Be Left off the Island
When you hear The Players Championship and TPC Sawgrass, your mind immediately pictures one thing: The island green on the short Par 3 17th hole, perhaps the most famous hole in golf. But it’s not just the 17th that offers problems, it’s the Par 5 16th, which offers big risk and big reward in its approach to a green guarded by water on the right, and the Par 4 closing 18th, which wraps around the lake all along the left side of the hole. In the last 20 years, over 50 percent of balls lost in the water have come on one of those three holes.
New this year is an even longer course, which features a renovated Hole 9 that will now stretch past 600 yards. Needless to say, you will need to be LONG if you are even thinking of reaching that one in two shots.
This course will test every shot in the bag, with draws and fades required both off the tee and on approach shots. There’s short, medium and long Par 3s, a drivable Par 4, and reachable Par 5s. Basically, if you could boil down everything you need or want in golf, this course makes you do it.
TPC Sawgrass will play at around 7,300 yards, and a Par 72.
Other Golfers Who Can Win the Players Championship: Big Names To Play for Big Stakes
Patrick Cantlay (+1600): Another coming into the week player well after a fourth last week at Bay Hill. Cantlay might be the best shaper of the ball on tour, being able to hit big fades and draws on command, something that will come in handy this week.
Max Homa (+1800): Has been white-hot to start the year, and while he struggled a bit with the putter last week, everything else in his game was on fire. That cold putting week also pushed him back in the odds, where he’s a great value play at the current numbers.
Justin Thomas (+2000): Great with irons, great around the greens, and great on them. There’s a reason he won this tournament back in 2021, and finds himself among this week’s favorites. You can’t have many if any weaknesses if you want to win The Players, and Thomas fits that bill perfectly.