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No Fruit to Bear
Last week was frustrating as Westwood played some decent golf for us and scored some excellent points over the first three days. However, he threw all that away on the final day when he shot a seven-over score to finish down the field. Unfortunately, Kevin Kisner was a no-show, and despite making a few birdies on day two, he missed the cut.
This week we head to the Players Championship for the ‘fifth’ major, and we certainly have some major plays to give away. We will begin, as always, by taking a look at the history of the tournament as we start to build this week’s BeerLife profile.
The Players Championship, also known as just the Players, is regarded as the fifth major by many golfers and fans because of its status and difficulty. The Tournament Players Championship was first held in 1974 at the Atlanta Country Club. In 1976, the tournament relocated to Florida, eventually settling at the TPC Sawgrass in 1982.
All PGA Tour winners since the last Players Championship and the top-50 golfers in the world, regardless of whether they have won on the PGA Tour in the previous year, compete in the tournament. Only major championships award more points in the Official World Golf Rankings than the Players Championship, reflecting the importance and prestige of the event. The tournament also features the most incredible purse in golf, with a total prize pool of $15 million, including $2.7 million for the winner.
The tournament has produced several notable winners because of its high prominence and challenging terrain. Lee Trevino, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, and Sergio Garcia are among the previous champions. Tiger Woods has won two championships, while Jack Nicklaus is the only three-time winner. Kim Si-Woo, the 2017 winner, was the tournament’s youngest winner at 21 years old, while Steve Elkington set the scoring record in 1997 with a -24 shot. In the tournament’s history, no one has ever repeated as champion.
Let’s turn our attention to the form of the previous five winners, analyze their rounds and see if we can find some crucial links to begin our BeerLife profile.
2021 Justin Thomas – 274 – Form 15/CUT/13/3
2019 Rory McIlroy – 272 – Form 6/2/4/5
2018 Webb Simpson – 270 – Form 21/5/20/29
2017 Si Woo Kim – 278 – Form CUT/22/CUT/WD
2016 Jason Day – 273 – Form 5/23/10/1
What makes TPC Sawgrass a challenging course to master, and why has no golfer ever dominated The Players? Some courses necessitate physical strength. Muscle. Brawn. A golfer’s ability to overcome difficulties determines their success, usually found on the scorecard under total yardage. Other courses necessitate dexterity. Strategy. Accuracy. Course management and shot-making and the ability to move through tight corners and avoid penal zones define success.
So, what does TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course require of the 144 golfers who compete for The Players Championship each year? It requires everything. Put another way, the key to success is both complex and straightforward. No course provides greater social equality: it benefits everyone while also benefiting no one. To win The Players, you don’t have to be the longest hitter, the best shotmaker, or a hot putter regularly. All you have to do is be the best golfer on the course that week.
The Players Championship will feature a competitive field once again, but there will be some noticeable absences this year. All but two of the world’s top 50 players will tee it up at TPC Sawgrass next week in the 144-player field. Only Harris English, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, and Tiger Woods have not committed to the tournament.
Bryson DeChambeau is set to make his first start since early February after recovering from a wrist injury. He was supposed to return for his Arnold Palmer Invitational title defense last week, but he pulled out on Monday.
We run each player in the field through our BeerLife profile analysis to develop our selections. This is what we are looking for this week:
Five Alive – Three of the previous five winners placed fifth in the run-up to this win. Is this just a coincidence, or is a pattern emerging?
Arnold Palmer Invitational – 5th Place Finishers
- Gary Woodland
- Chris Kirk
Puerto Rico Open – 5th Place Finishers
- Callum Tarren
- Chad Ramey
Iron Man – Strokes gained approaching the green is the key stat to follow this week, especially with all of the water in play.
SG: Approach the Green
- Will Zalatoris
- Jon Rahm
- Daniel Berger
- Collin Morikawa
- Tom Hoge
Not The Bogeyman – Come Saturday and Sunday, the pin locations will become extremely difficult, and the game plan won’t be as much about making birdies but about keeping what you have.
- Collin Morikawa
- Patrick Cantlay
- Sungjae Im
- Daniel Berger
- Justin Thomas
Risk & Reward – Imagine starting this week with potentially a three or four-shot lead. That is on offer to those who take on the 300-yard par-four 13th off the tee.
Par 4 Efficiency 300-350 Yards
- Camilo Villegas
- Cameron Smith
- Brooks Koepka
- Wyndham Clark
- Trey Mullinax
After looking at the above data and running the field through our Beerlife profile builder, we have selected the following picks.
Must-Have Players – These are the players you need to have in your lineup regardless of the price.
|Odds To Win +1600|
|As everyone knows, this week is all about iron play, and for me, there is nobody better in the game than Morikawa in this department. World number two cannot be ignored this week. He has played four times on the PGA Tour this season and finished 2/7/5/2. Furthermore, in 16 rounds, he has only three scores in the 70’s, which shows you his high level of consistency. He didn’t show up here last year until the final round, where he shot a superb 66, which will hopefully still be fresh in his mind. Morikawa seems to have everything to his game right now, and I cannot see how he isn’t towards the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening.|
Steady Eddies – These guys should give a good account of themselves and are good additions to your lineup.
|Odds To Win +3500|
|Daniel Berger has three top-ten finishes from five starts on the PGA Tour this season, and if it weren’t for falling to bits on the final day at the Honda Classic last time out, he would also have his first win of the season. I’m hoping this won’t still be playing on his mind, and if his record is anything to go by, it won’t be as he is the second-best bounce-back scoring stats on Tour this season. Last season he finished with eight top tens, including a third-place finish and a win. It’s easy to see how the 28-year-olds career is building momentum. He is one of the finest approach players on Tour and is pretty accurate off the tee. This is backed up by the fact that he has hit his last 25 fairways in a row, which is the fourth-longest streak this season. If he can continue that run here, he could be a big player this week.|