Players Championship Betting Favorites

Dustin Johnson - Players Championship
Dustin Johnson watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the third round of the Workday Championship golf tournament Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Players Championship, or just The Players, traditionally boasts the strongest field of any PGA Tour event. Held since 1982 at the famed Pete Dye-designed TPC Sawgrass with the iconic par-3 17th hole with its island green, it is often called the “fifth major.”

The tournament began in 1974 and returned to its historic March date in 2019 after 12 years of being played in May. It is the crown jewel of the PGA Tour, and the organization’s headquarters are at TPC Sawgrass as the Tour operates the event. This week 49 of the top 50 players in the world are in the 154-player field.

Last year, The Players was halted after one round, and every player received $52,000 for showing up. This year, as the COVID-19 pandemic is showing signs of abating, the tournament is expected to be played as scheduled and with a limited number of spectators in attendance.

Dustin Johnson is a slight favorite at +1200 odds… However, the world’s No. 1-ranked player doesn’t have a solid history at TPC Sawgrass.

Betting Odds for The Players

Dustin Johnson is a slight favorite at +1200 odds, the norm for whenever he is in a tournament field. However, the world’s No. 1-ranked player doesn’t have a solid history at TPC Sawgrass, with only one top 10 finish in 11 tries. However, that was a tie for fifth in 2019, the last time the tournament was completed.

Last week’s winner, Bryson DeChambeau, is next in the odds at +1300, tied with defending champion Rory McIlroy. Second-ranked Jon Rahm is next at +1500, followed by Justin Thomas at +1600 to round out the top five.

Favorite Picks at TPC Sawgrass

Only 11 of the 47 Players Championships have been won by non-major championship winners. Some of them, such as Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia, became major champions subsequent to their Players’ victories, but it demonstrates the quality of player that generally emerges as champion. 

There have also been some flukes, most notably Craig Perks in 2002 and Stephen Ames, who lapped the field by six shots in 2006.

Rahm doesn’t have much of a body of work at TPC Sawgrass, but in his three appearances, he has improved his performance each year. In 2019, he led going into the final round after a third-round 64 but ballooned to a 76 and ended up tied for 12th. 

He has yet to miss a cut this season and has finished in the top five in five of his nine events.

At +2000, Xander Schauffele needs to be taken seriously. He has been knocking on the door all season, and even though he is without a win, he has three second-place finishes. 

The fifth-ranked player in the world has two other top fives and hasn’t missed a cut in nine events. He was tied for second place behind Webb Simpson in the 2018 Players.

The third-ranked player in the world has had a tough month since losing his grandfather, but Thomas hasn’t missed a cut in five Players appearances. He has three top five finishes plus a tie for eighth in the U.S. Open and has the kind of game that is well-suited to TPC Sawgrass. 

His best finish at a Players was a tie for third in 2016.

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