Daily Fantasy Golf Course Primer: THE PLAYERS Championship
It's time for THE PLAYERS. Yes, that's all caps. That's the way THE PLAYERS rolls.
Caps lock or not, we're finally getting a star-studded field for PGA again, as 55 of the top 60 players by the Official World Golf Rankings are in action this week for the PGA Tour's largest purse of the season.
What do you need to know about this course, TPC Sawgrass, with so many expensive choices on FanDuel?
Course and Tournament Overview
The Pete Dye-designed course opened in 1980 but was renovated in 2016. Five greens were expanded, water was added, and the greens and bunkers were all redone. THE PLAYERS Stadium Course now stands as a 7,189-yard par 72 and will be a new experience for the 2017 iteration of the tournament.
The greens have been converted to TifEagle Bermudagrass, and the 12th hole is now a drivable par 4.
In 2016, TPC Sawgrass played as the 19th-toughest course on the PGA Tour, and it was 18th-toughest in 2015.
It's a 144-player field, with the top 70 and ties making it through to the weekend.
Recent Tournament History
In 2016, Jason Day (-15) won the event after leading wire to wire. Kevin Chappell (-11) finished a distant second. Ken Duke, Colt Knost, Matt Kuchar, and Justin Thomas (-10) tied for third.
Rickie Fowler won in a playoff against Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia in 2015; all three were -12 through 72 holes.
Martin Kaymer was atop the leaderboard after all three rounds in 2014 and hung on to win. Jim Furyk (-12) finished one stroke off the lead, and Garcia (-11) finished third. Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth tied for fourth at -10.
Certain stats, such as strokes gained: tee to green, birdie or better percentage, and putting efficiency will always be worth monitoring, but these are some of the most important stats to look for when rostering golfers at TPC Sawgrass.
|Key Stats for THE PLAYERS at TPC Sawgrass|
|Strokes Gained: Approach the Green|
|Greens in Regulation Percentage|
|Strokes Gained: Putting|
Strokes gained: approach has been a vital stat for TPC Sawgrass in recent years, so that makes the checklist this week. That's the key version of strokes gained: tee-to-green that we're looking at for this course.
Other key stats include birdie or better and bogey avoidance -- which tie directly to fantasy scoring -- as well as strokes gained: putting and greens in regulation percentage.
Course History Studs
Sergio Garcia has made the cut here every year since 2003 and was T4 in 2002. Since 2004, he has finished T53, T32, T14, 2, 1, T22, T47, T12, T56, T8, 3, T2, T52. In all, he has four top threes and nine top 25s, while making 15 of 17 possible cuts.
Kaymer is eight for eight with cuts at TPC Sawgrass since 2009, including a win in 2014 and two additional top fives.
Hideki Matsuyama was T7 in 2016, T17 in 2015, and T23 in 2014.
Russell Knox has had some success here, making the past three cuts and finishing T34 in 2014, T17 in 2015, and T19 in 2016. David Hearn has made five consecutive cuts, as well, and finished T28 last year after finishing T42, T6, T26, and T68.
Zach Johnson has missed just one cut in 12 tries here (2008) and has 7 top 25s and finished T2 in 2012.
Justin Thomas has two starts under his belt at TPC Sawgrass and finished T24 in 2015 and T3 in 2016.