Who to bet on at the Players Championship

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The highly anticipated event on the illustrious PGA Tour, The Players Championship, will see the globe’s greatest golfers converge at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, from 11 to 14 May. Originating in 1974, this prestigious contest, considered the ‘fifth major’, includes an impressively elite field attracting some incredible betting odds. Here are the top five golfers to bet on, as well as an exciting wild card player.

Players Championship Betting

1. Rory McIlroy

A disappointing display at the recent US Masters in Augusta saw the World No. 2 finish six shots behind tournament winner, Sergio Garcia. Blaming his golf ball for his seventh-place finish, and after a poor driving display, McIlroy will need to rally in the next few weeks if he’s going to finish in the top spot at Sawgrass. His marriage in the next fortnight might help to lift his spirits somewhat.
His 2015-2016 season, however, was solid with the Northern Irishman winning two of his final three tournaments, posting six top 10 finishes. He took the Deutsche Bank Championship in a two-stroke win, as well as the Tour Championship and FedExCup. He started the 2016-2017 PGA Tour with a tie for fourth place at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, followed by the less impressive seventh at the US Masters. This 27-year-old prodigy certainly has what it takes to win the title.

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2. Hideki Matsuyama

Ending this year’s Augusta in a four-way tie for 28th place, Japan’s Matsuyama showed some inconsistent playing with one round including an eagle, a birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey. However, the world’s No.4 player is not to be overlooked. From October to November 2016 he placed second in the CIMB Classic, won the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions by an impressive seven strokes, and also took the top spot at two events on the Japan Golf Tour. He then won the unofficial Hero World Challenge, fighting off Henrik Stenson for the title. These impressive performances landed him in the top of the FedExCup standings as well as pushing him into the top 10 of the world.

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The players golfing

 

3. Jason Day

The World No.3 placed 22nd in the latest Augusta tournament, returning to the game after some emotional trauma at home with his mother battling lung cancer. He opted out of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play having completed just six holes, to be by his mother’s side. However, following his mother’s recent successful surgery, Day is in a much better head space. He has also struggled with a nagging back injury which could be responsible for his lacklustre Augusta performance. If he’s back on top form, he’ll be a difficult one to beat. He has 10 PGA Tour wins, including The Players Championship last season – his seventh win in 17 months – where he tied the course record of 63. He also took the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and, from his top 10 finishes last year, seven were in fifth place or higher. So, expect great things.

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4. Jordan Spieth

The world No.5 will be looking for some golfing redemption after his Augusta nightmare where he tied for his worst-ever round during Sunday’s final round, with three-over 75 ending him in 11th place. This marks the first time the 23-year-old has failed to finish in the top two at a Masters’ tournament. He started the day within two strokes of the lead, on his way to a possible fourth straight top-five finish, but it was not to be. However, considering his recent performance, he deserves some leeway. There was the seven-stroke win at Hyundai Tournament of Champions or the DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. In addition, two of his five wins last season were majors with eight top 10 finishes. He then joined the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman as two-time Australian Open winners. He has what it takes to triumph at the Players Championship.

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5. Dustin Johnson

A freak fall down some stairs saw the World No.1 forced to withdraw from Augusta this year. The 32-year-old American suffered a lower back injury and, despite taking to the first tee, he quickly realised he couldn’t perform a full swing and decided he couldn’t compete. But there is enough time to rest up for this year’s Players Championship and get his swing back in action. The 15-time PGA Tour winner had five top 10 finishes in the seven majors played before the crowning achievement, the career-defining US Open win, bringing his streak of consecutive seasons with a victory to nine. He also went on to win the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational as well as the BMW Championship, his second career victory here, which took him to No.1 in the FedExCup. He received the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list, the Byron Nelson Award for the player with the lowest adjusted scoring average and the Jack Nicklaus Award for the PGA Tour Player of the Year.

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Wildcard: Sergio Garcia
Fresh off his incredible win at this year’s Augusta National, the 37-year-old Spaniard might find himself on a winning streak following a four-year victory drought and a career-long Major’s victory drought. This memorable win marks Garcia’s 74th participation in a Major Championship, pushing him up to seventh position in the world golf ranking. He fought a well-deserved win against Justin Rose with both finishing tied at the 18th hole with -9, taking it to a playoff with Garcia winning with a birding after holing a putt.

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The players golfing The Players Championship