The Players Championship, which I’ve previewed right here, has the deepest subject of the yr and it is a powerful occasion to guage with all types of varieties profitable at Sawgrass.
The event was cancelled after spherical one final yr however Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk completed first and second in 2019 and that highlights properly that just about anybody can win right here, though they do have a tendency to want loads of course expertise. I’ve picked out 4 and between them, they’ve a mixed 40 begins at Sawgrass, though I may have simply picked out extra.
I actually like Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk, two of Dave Tindall’s three picks and now that he is drifted to a triple determine value, the spectacular younger South African, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, got here near inclusion too however he is been reluctantly unnoticed and I’ll begin together with his fellow countryman, Louis Oosthuizen…
Can’t ignore Louis
I’m removed from an everyday backer of Louis as he can get in his personal means in competition (as he did lately on the Phoenix Open), however he appears to be like too huge to disregard given his earlier at sawgrass and his advantageous present type.
His eleventh positioned end at TPC Scottsdale in his penultimate begin ought to have been a lot increased however he bogeyed 4 holes coming in after being matched at round 7.06/1 in-running and he adopted that with a really respectable sixth in Florida two weeks in the past, on the WGC Workday Championship behind the spectacular Collin Morikawa.
In addition to profitable the Open Championship again in 2010, Louis has subsequently completed runner-up in all 4 majors, dropping in two playoffs – as soon as at Augusta and as soon as at St Andrews – and he is additionally completed second on this occasion, which is also known as the fifth main. Louis completed runner-up to very large outsider, Si Woo Kim, right here in 2017.
Westwood price chancing after Bay Hill second
Having hit the entrance at Bay Hill after a superb third spherical, Lee Westwood put up a courageous battle in opposition to the fairly good world quantity six, Bryson DeChambeau, on Sunday, finally dropping to the massive man by a solitary stroke, and he appears to be like to be a little bit neglected right here given his advantageous report at Sawgrass.
It will not be simple for Westwood to select himself up after Sunday’s slender loss however he is older and extra philosophical now and it could be no shock to see him come out combating. And if he does, with type figures right here studying 5-6-48-MC-MC-22-38-MC-4-61-8-6-MC-65, he has the credentials to go one higher than final week.
Prolific Na appears to be like too huge once more
Kevin Na’s most memorable second to this point at Sawgrass is arguably this placing comedy sketch with Tiger Woods on the notorious seventeenth inexperienced but it surely’s additionally a venue at which he is contended – and effectively earlier than he morphed right into a profitable machine…
? PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 9, 2021
Na completed third within the 2009 Players Championship, two years earlier than he received his first PGA Tour title and he sat tied for the lead at midway at each the 2012 and 2015 editions, earlier than fading to complete seventh and sixth.
He’s not figured in his three subsequent begins at Sawgrass however he is remodeled right into a prolific winner of late, including PGA Tour titles two, three, 4 and 5 in lower than three years and may he take the title on Sunday, it is going to be his fifth win in his final 50 begins.
His type has been a bit in-and-out since he received the Sony Open in January however he performed effectively in Florida two begins in the past after a sluggish begin when he completed eleventh within the WGC Workday Championship and if his putter heats up he may very well be extraordinarily harmful now he is aware of the best way to win.
Classy Kisner can contend once more
Debutants do not have a fantastic report at Sawgrass so after his opening 73 in 2015, Kevin Kisner’s first go to appeared extremely prone to finish as many a primary go to does. He sat tied for 77th and a made lower would have been seen as successful however he did significantly higher than that, firing rounds of 67, 67 and 69 to complete the week tied on the high with former winner, Sergio Garcia, and the quick ending, Rickie Fowler.
Garcia was eradicated after the three-hole playoff earlier than Fowler claimed the crown on the first additional sudden dying gap. That was the second of Kisner’s 5 playoff defeats so he does not have a number of luck in additional time however he is nonetheless received thrice on the PGA Tour and he has an abundance of fine type at different Pete Dye designed venues.
He misplaced his first playoff on the RBC Heritage in 2015, on the Dye-designed Harbour Town and, enjoying alongside Scott Brown, he misplaced his fourth playoff on the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana. Another Pete Dye design. And lastly, the final of his three wins to this point was within the WGC Match Play two years in the past on the Pete Dye-designed Austin Country Club.
He hasn’t performed brilliantly right here in his 4 subsequent Sawgrass begins however that actually does not concern me as many a winner has loads of poor Players performances. We know the course fits if he is on music and he is effectively price chancing at a monster value.
I’ll be again on Friday with the In-Play Blog.
*You can observe me on Twitter @SteveThePunter