2023 Players Championship Tips
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Starts: 9th March 2023
Course: TPC Sawgrass, Florida
Length: 7,189 yards
2022 Champion: Cameron Smith
Designer: Pete Dye
Used Since: 1982
Type of Course: Parkland
Fairways: Average width
Rough: Medium (2.5 inches)
Greens: Tifeagle Bermuda (13 Stimp)
Water Hazards: On every hole
Par 5's: 2nd, 9th, 11th and 16th
Premium on: All round game
The event was played in May between 2007 and 2018. The course played slightly differently in May as the weather was slightly better and the ball flew further in the slightly warmer conditions.
A slight draw bias for the Late-Early starters at TPC Sawgrass 2023.
Partly Sunny. Wind 9mph morning, 7mph afternoon.
Cloudy. Wind 7mph morning, 9mph afternoon.
Partly Sunny. Wind 4mph.
Sunny. Wind 5mph.
Cameron Smith won with -13 whilst 2021 saw Justin Thomas win with -16. In 2019 the winning score was -19. In the ten years before that, scores ranged from -10 to -18.
37 of the 39 winners at TPC Sawgrass had played in at least one previous Players Championship. The two that hadn't? Hal Sutton in 1983 and Craig Perks in 2002.
15 of the last 16 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 TEN champions have posted a top 25 here prior to winning. Incidentally, five of those ten had posted a top 6 finish.
Played The Year Before
We're looking for someone who played in this event last year as the past 14 Players Championship winners played the event the year before winning. Twelve of those fourteen made 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
Ten of the past eleven winners had won an event on the PGA Tour before winning the Players Championship. Martin Kaymer was the only Players Championship winner in those years who hadn't won on the PGA Tour before but he was an accomplished winner on the European Tour.
Twelve of the past fourteen winners have had an early tee time in round one, this includes the last SEVEN winners.
Ten of the last Eleven 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 so factor that into your Players Championship picks.
14 of the past 15 winners of the Players had recorded a top three finish in a Major prior to winning. The odd one out? Si Woo Kim again!
The last ten winners have had world rankings of 10-3-6-41-73-1-13-61-1-16 prior to winning. We are looking for a player inside the world's top 75 when making Players Championship selections.
Consider events which use Pete Dye designed courses such as the RBC Heritage and Travellers Championship.
Five of the last ten winners have been American.
In most categories we only have Strokes Gained stats for the last five tournaments. In general, we are looking for players who have strong SG: Approach. 2021 winner Justin Thomas ranked 1st tee to green whilst Cameron Smith won with a combination of strong iron play and putting.
SG: Off The Tee
The last five winners have ranked 74-10-3-49-2. Smith showed top driving isn't essential to win here.
The past seven champions have ranked 25-33-6-139-32-3-22. A real mixed bag and not a key to success here.
The past seven champions have ranked 75-62-78-2-27-84-71. Accuracy off the tee is only important for the shorter hitting players.
The last five winners have ranked 5-5-7-92-21. SG: Approach is preferred.
SG: Around The Green
The last five winners have ranked 20-12-39-5-4. A tidy short game is a big help around Sawgrass.
The last seven winners have ranked 1-42-59-1-59-9-30. Tee to green is preferred usually.
In Play Golf Betting Advice
The 5th, 8th, 18th and 14th were the four hardest holes on the course.
The par 4 12th hole played as he easiest hole with the four par 5s playing as the next easiest.
Water lurks on the three closing holes. The par five 16th offers birdie opportunities. The 17th and 18th are both treacherous and players are happy with pars on both holes.
Fast or Slow Start
A fast start is usually vital at Sawgrass. Seven of the past eight champions have shot an opening round in the 60s and all but three of those six sat inside the top 7 after round one. It is also notable that two of the last eight winners have been first round leaders. It should be noted though, Justin Thomas was SEVEN shots back at halfway in 2021.
TPC Sawgrass 2021 Course Notes
The course played hardest on day one, with the organisers watering the greens to make them less firm following day one. The 17th green was extremely hard and we saw a lot of balls in the water, particularly on day one. The green had been replaced the year before and was firmer than the rest of the greens.
Players who played early-late had the better of the draw, both from course setup and wind (the wind was less on Friday afternoon than Thursday afternoon). Justin Thomas's win means the last six winners have had an early tee time on Thursday.
TPC Sawgrass 2022 Course Notes
There were significant weather interruptions. Day one saw a soft golf course with little breeze whilst the wind picked up considerably on the Friday.
There was a significant draw bias once again with the top ten players at the halfway stage all playing in the AM-PM side of the draw. Cameron Smith's victory was the seventh straight win for a player who started early on Thursday.
Previous Players Championship Tips & Blogs
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2023 Players Championship Tips
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