- The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL tees off Thursday, March 11th
- Dustin Johnson is the +1000 favorite over Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy
- We’ve narrowed down the golfers with the best chance of emerging victorious and provided the best value bets below
One week after Bryson DeChambeau bludgeoned Bay Hill Club & Lodge to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the PGA Tour heads two hours up I-95 for the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. This tournament is the PGA Tour’s crown jewel, with 48 of the top 50 players in the world competing.
With Pete Dye’s diabolical golf course at TPC Sawgrass, low numbers can be posted, but danger lurks on many holes – which has perhaps been the reason there hasn’t been a back-to-back champion since the Tour came to this track in 1982. Though it isn’t a major championship, this has long been known as the ‘fifth major’ with a long list of luminaries being crowned champion.
It was one year ago after the conclusion of the first round that the PGA Tour cancelled this tournament due to the coronavirus outbreak, meaning Rory McIlroy is the defending champion after his fantastic victory in 2019.
2021 The Players Championship Odds
Odds taken March 8th from DraftKings
Dustin Johnson Hasn’t Dominated This Tournament
It has taken a long time for Dustin Johnson to feel comfortable on this golf course, with his best effort in the first seven attempts resulting in a pedestrian tie for 34th way back in 2010. In recent years he’s been much better, posting Top 20’s in the last three iterations, though 2019 was the first time in eleven tries that he’s had a top ten.
Dustin Johnson’s Best Finishes at The Players Championship
|First 7 attempts||T-34th (2010)|
He’s also coming off a shocking T-54th result (out of 72 golfers) two weeks ago at the WGC-Workday Championship, where he lost a whopping ten strokes to the field on the greens. That’s the third straight event DJ has lost shots to the field on the dance floor, though last tournament was by far his worst effort putting wise.
Dustin Johnson NAILED this guy… ???????? pic.twitter.com/dR5N3u6OBR
— BroBible (@BroBible) February 5, 2021
It goes without saying that Dustin Johnson could step onto the grounds and go out and dominate, as he has five wins in the last year. Against a stacked field, however, given that he hasn’t shown a propensity to play phenomenal golf around this course, his +1000 odds aren’t overly enticing.
Justin Thomas Sporting Intriguing Value
Not often would Justin Thomas have four players ahead of him with shorter odds to win a tournament, but that’s exactly where he finds himself heading into this event. Though he’s cooled off slightly following a stretch of seven straight times inside the top-12, it’s not as if he’s cratered either.
Based on his lofty standards, 2021 hasn’t been dominant for the 2017 PGA Champion, though he’s had a third place, T-13 and T-15 finishes mixed in with one missed cut on Tour this year.
Most @PGATOUR wins last 5 seasons
Justin Thomas, 12
Dustin Johnson, 12
Bryson DeChambeau, 8
Most @PGATOUR wins when trailing entering final round, last 5 seasons
Bryson DeChambeau, 5
Justin Thomas, 5
Xander Schauffele, 4
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) March 7, 2021
He’s sixth in strokes gained approaching the green, and 14th tee-to-green on the campaign, which will be vital for success around this track, where mishits will be severely punished.
He’s had some success at TPC Sawgrass as well, with a T-3 in 2016 and a T-11 in 2018. His +1800 odds are more than palpable for a player itching to get back into the winner’s circle after a number of close calls in recent months.
The Players Championship Last Five Winners
|2019||Rory McIlroy (-16) one shot win|
|2018||Webb Simpson (-18) four shot win|
|2017||Si Woo Kim (-10) three shot win|
|2016||Jason Day (-15) four shot win|
|2015||Rickie Fowler (-12) playoff over Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner|
*The 2020 tournament was not completed due to COVID-19 shutdown
The Players Championship Best Value Picks
- Hideki Matsuyama (+3300): The leader after the first round last year before the tournament was cancelled. In six career appearances, has racked up five top-25’s, including a pair of top ten’s. In last 24 rounds at Sawgrass, is first in SG: approach, second in ball striking, fourth tee-to-green and total strokes gained. Putting has long been his downfall, but Matsuyama has gained strokes in two of his last three starts (T-15 and T-18 in last two weeks).
- Adam Scott (+6600): The champion in 2004 has been dynamite of late at this event, posting six top-20’s in his last eight appearances with four straight top-12’s. In last 36 rounds at this venue, Scott is first in total strokes gained and second in SG: tee-to-green.
- Sergio Garcia (+8000): Garcia has fantastic course history, winning the 2008 edition, finished second in 2007, losing a playoff in 2015, third in 2014 and T-4 in 2002. Won earlier this season at Sanderson Farms Championship and has three top-12’s in last six events. Second in strokes gained off the tee on the campaign. Last 36 rounds at Sawgrass, he’s first in SG: approach, third tee-to-green and sixth in total strokes gained.