The Players Championship Preview and Tips

With the World Snooker Championship now over and the final set of fixtures in the Premier League coming up this weekend, you could be forgiven for thinking that betting opportunities could be thin on the ground over the coming months. You would, however, be completely wrong as there are a massive number of top sports events coming up over the summer and they begin this week in Jacksonville Florida with the finest golfers in the world competing for The Players Championship.

Coral Sport are offering a fantastic value each way pay out to seven places in this event, meaning that you get more chances to land a cash win if you back a golfer each way on the outright market. To take advantage of this, you do need a Coral account, but that’s not a problem if you head over to our detailed Coral review section and check out the sites New Player Bet £5 Get £20 In Free Bets offer.

Once you’ve signed up then you’ll have plenty of bang for your buck as a new Coral customer and you’ll not only be able to take advantage of this great offer for this week’s big golf event in the United States, but also all the different promotions and offers that the site will run throughout the summer and into the cooler months.

Let’s now begin by taking a look at the history of The Players Championship and exploring why it has become known by the players on tour as the unofficial fifth Major in tournament golf.

The Players Championship – A history

The Players Championship is not a particularly old tournament. It was first contested in Georgia back in 1974 when Jack Nicklaus was the winner and it then relocated to Texas for a couple of years before switching to Florida. It would be 1982 however before the tournament found its spiritual home at Sawgrass near Jacksonville and from then on, it grew into one of the premier tournaments on the US Tour each year.

After many years of American dominance in the event, Sandy Lyle became the first non-American to win the event in 1985 and that ushered in a more cosmopolitan period with more players from abroad playing and more winners also coming from outside of the US.

Allied to that and the high amount of prize money on offer, the tournament attracted all the top players each year and soon the quality of the field in each event matched those of a Major tournament.

Key to the success of the tournament was the Sawgrass course itself. A narrow, undulating course that has some very difficult greens, Sawgrass is a real test of long, accurate driving, consistent approach play and perfect putting.

The course also boasts one of the most iconic holes in all of golf – the Island Green 17th hole which features no fairway, just a tee-box and an Island green with a thin walkway to allow the golfers to reach the green. Ironically, Pete Dye, the course designer, didn’t intend for the 17th to play this way. It was only as the ground gave way to water did his wife Alice persuade him that an Island green may be the way forward.

The Players Championship Past Winners

Jack Nicklaus won the event three times in its early history before it moved to Sawgrass and he is the only player to win the tournament three times. Five players have two wins, Hal Sutton, Steve Elkington, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III.

Other notable winners include Adam Scott, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and K.J.Choi.

The tournament has also seen its fair share of surprise winners with the likes of Craig Perks, Fred Funk, Stephen Ames, Tim Clark and last year’s winner Kim Si-woo all taking the title.

Only two of the current top dozen ranked golfers in the world have won this event (Day and Fowler) and the $1.89m in prize money and the title of The Players Championship Champion is one that anybody inside the top 12 would love to add to their roll of honour.

Who are the golfers to watch at the 2018 Players Championship?

Although golf tournaments tend to see a different winner each week, Coral Sport feel that the in form Jason Day, who won last week’s Wells Fargo Championship, is a solid bet here. The company have him as the 14/1 co-favourite to win the event alongside Irishman Rory McIlroy, who like Day has already won an event on tour this year, the Bay Hill Invitational.

Just behind that duo are a quartet of top American golfers. At 16/1, you can get three of the top four golfers in the world in Dustin Johnson (1), Justin Thomas (2) and Jordan Spieth (4), while Rickie Fowler, who won this event a few years back, is rated at as a 20/1 chance.

There’s a strong European flavour in the next group of golfers priced at 25/1 with Coral as they include world number 3 Jon Rahm plus English duo Justin Rose and Paul Casey as well as Swedish ace Henrik Stenson (another prior winner here). You can also back the current Masters Champion Patrick Reed at the same odds if you feel he can follow up a win at Augusta with another at Sawgrass.

If you value experience when winning a top golf tournament then the players rated as 33/1 chances will interest you as it include three former winners of the event in Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia as well as the talented Japanese player Hideki Matsuyama. Outside of these golfers everyone is rated as at least a 40/1 shot or greater.

Who are our tips?

The important thing to note is that Coral Sport are offering each way pay out of 1/5 of the stated odds on any of the top seven placed at The Players Championship and as a result I would seriously recommend backing your choice of golfer each way, rather than on the nose to win as I feel having a golfer place in the top seven gives you a far better chance of a return.

As for who I’d pick, out of the shorter odds golfers outlined above I think I’d likely back Henrik Stenson (25/1) to go well. The Swede rarely if ever uses a driver nowadays and that is key on a course where keeping your ball in play is vital to scoring low. If Stenson’s putter is hot, then he could well go close.

As for a longer odds shot, I think that Tyrell Hatton at 80/1 is a decent each way bet. The Englishman has his critics, not least because of his demeanour on the greens at times, but he has played solid golf for a long time now and it seems only a matter of time before he lands one of the bigger tournaments on the tour.

 


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