The best non-major tournament of the year is here, with The Players Championship once again emanating from TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Jason Day defends in a field that includes another 47 of Day’s fellow top-50 players, competing on a course that favors no particular style of play but rewards great golf with one of the game’s richest winner’s checks and a trophy growing in prestige.
Here are our top five players for this week:
1. Rory McIlroy – McIlroy has an excellent record at TPC Sawgrass, not finishing out of the top 12 in the last four years. However, he’s been off since the Masters and will be playing new sticks this week.
2. Dustin Johnson – You have to put Johnson up high on the list. He’s gone 1-1-1-T2. But his Sawgrass record is modest. He makes cuts but doesn’t have a top 10.
3. Jon Rahm – This is perhaps a little premature to rank to Rahm so highly on this kind of stage, but he’s been an absolute stud in 20 professional starts. His only stumble in the last two months has been on Sunday at the Masters.
4. Sergio Garcia – Garcia is returning to golf after his Masters win and celebrating for a month. Celebrate forever, Sergio. However, Garcia has a great Sawgrass record, including a 2008 win. He loves it here.
5. Jordan Spieth – Spieth’s schedule has been light since the Masters, making a nice charge with Ryan Palmer at the Zurich. Fell apart on Sunday at Augusta, but he’s been pretty spiffy all year.