The Players Championship: PGA Golf Pick, Odds, Preview, Predictions, Sleepers - 3/12/20
Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Players Championship
Thursday, March 11th, 2020 at 7:40 AM (TPC Sawgrass)
TV: Golf Channel; NBC
It’s going to be a great week of golf as we have the PGA’s unofficial “5th Major” with The Players Championship at the famous TPC Sawgrass Golf Course.
Course: TPC Sawgrass (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)
TPC Sawgrass is one of the best courses on the tour and fits many different types of games.
As with all courses, one of the first aspects I start to look at is what the weather is looking like and as of right now, it’s shaping up to be a pretty solid 4-days of minor wind and comfortable temperatures which should lead to some pretty solid scores.
TPC Sawgrass is loaded with trouble when it comes to water and bunkers and with the greens being a bit smaller than average, it’s critical to keep your ball in the short grass and set yourself up for solid approaches. Two of the most important categories that I’m looking at this week is SG: Tee-to-Green & SG: Approach.
With the smaller greens, players will need to have solid Scrambling to avoid trouble and is certainly worth a look at the metrics this week.
Driving Distance always helps, but as we’ve saw last year with strong performances from Jim Furyk (T-2; 2019 & Brandt Snedeker (T-5th; 2019), that it’s not completely necessary.
Putting well has also historically has not been critical to success as two of the last three winners have barley posted positive SG-Putting metrics (S. Kim: +0.29; R. McIlroy: +0.17).
Overall, I’m looking for players that can keep the ball in the fairway of the tee have solid approach games.
Overall Winner – Players to Target
Hideki Matsuyama (28/1) – I’ll make sure to have some money on Hideki Matsuyama this week as I think he should be a top-5 favorite this week and love the odds we’re currently getting on him. Matsuyama has played 22 rounds at TPC Sawgrass and has one of the best course history numbers in the deep field. Matsuyama finished T-8th last year with his two best categories being SG: Tee-to-Green & SG: Approach and as he comes into this game ranked 3rd on the season when it comes to SG: Tee-to-Green, I expect a big showing from Matsuyama.
Collin Morikawa (50/1) – Morikawa has yet to win on the PGA Tour, however, it’s only a matter of time from the former California Golden Bears standout who has made all 11 cuts this season and has six top-25 performances. I generally would stay away from individuals who are making their first appearance at TPC Sawgrass, however, Morikawa hits most of the categories that I’m looking at as he is a solid iron players and currently ranks 8th in SG: Tee-to-Green. Morikawa’s scrambling numbers aren’t outstanding, however, the rest of the game is solid and at 50/1 odds, I’ll take a chance on the rookie.
Keegan Bradley (160/1) – I think Keegan Bradley is a solid sleeper pick this week at some outstanding odds. Keegan has had some recent success in the last two years at The Players (T-16 in 2019; T-7th in 2018) and his two strongest categories are the two we’re targeting the most in SG: Tee-to-Green & SG: Approach. It’s been well documented that Bradley struggled with the putter, however, he has had some success at TPC Sawgrass (+.83 SG: Putting in 2018) and as it’s not a key category for me this week, I’m not shying away from Bradley to due his putting struggles. Keegan generally gets off to hot starts, so I might even roll the dice with a first round leader bet.