Can historical trends help us pick out this week's winner of The Players Championship? We run through ten trends to identify who might have the best chance of triumphing at TPC Sawgrass.
37 of the 39 winners at TPC Sawgrass had played in at least one previous Players Championship. Course debutants rarely win!
14 of the last 15 winners had made three or more starts at The Players Championship before winning. The only player who hadn't? Si Woo Kim.
Each of the past FIFTEEN champions have posted a top 25 finish at this event prior to winning.
Played The Year Before
We're looking for someone who played in this event last year as the past 15 Players Championship winners played the event the year before winning. Only two of the 15 failed to make the cut. Rory McIlroy and Jason Day were the only two winners to miss the cut the year prior to winning.
Wins on PGA Tour
Thirteen of the past fifteen winners had won an event on the PGA Tour before winning The Players Championship. Martin Kaymer and Tim Clark were the only two who were yet to triumph in the USA. It should be noted that Kaymer was an accomplished winner on the European Tour.
Twelve of the past fourteen winners have had an early tee time on Thursday, this includes the last SEVEN winners.
Eleven of the last fifteen champions had posted a top 22 finish on their last start before winning. Cameron Smith was 33rd before his win in 2022 but had already won earlier in the year and was 4th in second last start. Form counts for a lot!
14 of the past 15 winners of this event had recorded a top three finish in a Major prior to winning. The odd one out? You guessed it, Si Woo Kim!
The last 15 winners have ranked 10-3-6-41-73-1-13-61-1-16-34-40-9-18-3 prior to winning. We are looking for a player inside the world's top 75 and preferably inside the top 40.
Looking at those nine trends throws up three names - Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay and Sungjae Im. To narrow the list down to one, we've taken a look at the average age of the past fifteen winners of The Players Championship:
2022: Cameron Smith (28)
2021: Justin Thomas (27)
2019: Rory McIlroy (29)
2018: Webb Simpson (32)
2017: Si Woo Kim (21)
2016: Jason Day (28)
2015: Rickie Fowler (26)
2014: Martin Kaymer (29)
2013: Tiger Woods (37)
2012: Matt Kuchar (33)
2011: K.J. Choi (40)
2010: Tim Clark (34)
2009: Henrik Stenson (32)
2008: Sergio Garcia (28)
2007: Phil Mickelson (36)
The average age of last fifteen winners is 30 years old. The only player from our three man shortlist who is 30 years old.....Patrick Cantlay.
Let us know on Twitter if you think Cantlay can lift the trophy on Sunday!
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