Tournament: The Players Championship, May 11-14
Course: TPC Sawgrass, Stadium Course, 7,189 yards, par 72 (Ponte Vedra, FL just outside Jacksonville)
Defending Champion: Jason Day. The Aussie-turned-Ohioan was the best player in the world at the time, and showed it winning by 4 strokes.
Fun Fact: 415 acres of wetlands on which the club is located was purchased for $1 back in the early 1970’s. Something tells me that this would sell for a lot more money today.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 1-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, noon-2 p.m. (GC), 2-7 p.m. (NBC). Since the PGA Tour owns this tournament outright, and it is considered the “fifth major”, you get serious extended coverage.
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Seven): Russell Henley, Harris English, Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, Hudson Swafford, Brian Harman, Bubba Watson.
This tournament is The Players Championship, both as a proper noun and a common noun. The PGA Tour, which is professional golfers who compete for money, created this tournament. It differs from the other bodies in golf such as the PGA, representing certified teaching professionals and club golf; and the USGA which represents the game of golf in the US. We will discuss those later in the season.
It is the 2nd week in May, and that means we head to Ponte Vedra, Florida and PGA Tour headquarters. TPC Sawgrass was designed in the late 70’s and ushered in the modern golf course era - ones designed for fans and players alike. Raised areas around greens, good view lines between holes, easy access to the course... these were all incorporated with ticket-holders in mind. Of course most people know this course for the famed par 3 17th and its island green. The shortest hole on the course (technically 137 yards from the small tee area) causes the most stress, as the green is in the middle of a lake, and only accessed by a very thin causeway from the back left.
The course underwent some pretty significant renovations, and if you tune in to the broadcast you will undoubtedly hear it in detail. All I know is that they shortened the 12th hole into a driveable par 4, which usually adds excitement.
I’ll forego the usual breakdown of our favorite golfers, but if you want to know something, just ask in the comments and I will try to answer. Sorry for the brevity, but life got in the way.
Still and always...