While it is not officially a major, The Players Championship is about as close as you can get. It is actually called the fifth major by many people and based on the players in the field it will look like a major. All of the top players in the world are in the event except those who are injured. This year, Steve Stricker who is ranked number three in the world had to pull out of the event because of injury as did #15 Retief Goosen. All of the other players in the Top 20 world rankings are in the field. The Players Championship from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida begins on Thursday, May 6th and concludes on Sunday, May 9th.
Check out the current odds for The Players Championship at SBG Global.
Tiger Woods is still ranked #1 in the world even though he missed the cut last week at the Quail Hollow Championship. Woods has never missed the cut at The Players Championship Odds but last year was just his first top-10 finish since he won the tournament in 2001. The top ranking in the world could change this week if Phil Mickelson wins and Woods finishes out of the top five. “The Players is a really big event,” Mickelson said, “It’s one we all would like to play well and fortunately my game is really close. Some adjustments here or there and hopefully I should be able to get in contention again next Sunday.” Mickelson was second last week behind Rory McIlroy who shot a 10-under 62 in the final round to win. McIlroy moved up to number nine in the world rankings. This year’s Players Championship field includes every winner on the PGA Tour going back to last year’s Players Championship except for Stricker and Goosen. Jay Haas will be the oldest player in the field at 56 years, 5 months old. His son Bill will also be in the event making it the first time a father-son duo will have played the event in the same year.
The defending champion of The Players Championship is Henrik Stenson who is ranked #16 in the golf betting world. Stenson has not played well this year with his best finish a tie for 33rd at the Accenture Match Play Championship. He did finish tied for eighth in a couple of events on the European Tour. In last year’s victory, Stenson came from five shots back to win by one shot over Ian Poulter. History is not on Stenson’s side for this tournament. No player has ever defended their title in The Players Championship.
The last six winner of The Players Championship are Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Mickelson, Stephen Ames, Fred Funk and Adam Scott.