Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The.Frozen.Predictions- The Player's Champoinship

   One verse I can guarantee you`ll be tried of hearing come Sunday is 'the 5th major' if you're like me you still believe that honour belongs to the Canadian Open. Either way this week is the flagship event for the PGA tour with arguably the best field in golf. What's not up for debate is the purse at 9.5 million, its the biggest winners check in golf.

The Course:
TPC at Sawgrass 
Par: 72   Length: 7,215
Architect: Pete Dye
Purse: 9,500,000 (1st- 1.71 mil.)

   This week has some major headlines since its the first event we've seen some of the big names since The Masters. But more importantly we had the Hall of Fame inductees Monday evening. Highlighted by Freddie 'boom boom' Couples and Colin 'can't win the big one' Montgomery. It's easy to call this a weak HoF class, so we won't. You have the tour trying to brush the Vijay controversy under the rug. Now there's a Lawsuit, should he even be playing? There's Adam Scott a past Champion making his first start since the masters win. But you can't forget Tiger walking red carpets in NYC for vogue.

 Past Winners:
2012  Matt Kuchar (-13)
2011  K.J. Choi (-13)
2010  Tim Clark (-16)
2009  Henrik Stenson (-12)
2008  Sergio Garcia (-5)

    This week again you have to look at not just who's playing well but who's played well here at TPC Sawgrass and the easy answer is no one. Outside of the US open this Pete Dye gem might be the toughest test in golf. We've all seen and heard the 17th hole talk. Whats more important is that you work the ball both ways off the tee and and then usual do the opposite into the greens. One key to picking your players is since the masters the PGA has stopped at two other Pete Dye courses harbour town and TPC Louisiana, look to the guys who played well there to do the same here. And you might want to forget about the OWGR top five too:

1. Tiger Woods- Leave him on the bench yes he's won here but that was 2001 he won everything then(remember the tiger-slam) since then he has one top ten in his next nine events. If this wasn't the players he wouldn't be here. Safe the start for an event he has a better record at. 

2. Rory McIlroy- He's easily had the rockiest season to date changing clubs, losing the #1 ranking, only to find his form again. But his 3 missed cuts in this 3 trips to Sawgrass all prime examples to have him ride the pine this weekend, history shows he won't be playing anyway. 

3. Adam Scott- maybe the only on paper contender out of worlds top five. He's a past champion winning back in 2004. You can't complain about his form but he's never been the guy winning multiple times on tour. Things change though. 

4. Justin Rose- he's another player you would expect to play better at this course. He's had the type of ball striking required to go low here. But his career best of T-22, has us wanting more. Bench. 

5. Luke Donald- He's the mostly like to contend on Sunday from the top five. His track record here isn't bad highlighted but the runner up in 2005. But his efforts at Dye courses like Harbour Town where he's never out the top 3 and this his short game. All make his a must have in an event driving the ball in play is more important then total distance. 


Graeme McDowell- he was in the hunt late last year and won harbour town a month ago.  I think he enjoys Pete dyes work. 

Tim Clark- a few years ago showed shorter hitters can win here. And has to do it again soon before the anchored putter is gone.

Notables: Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner

Luke Donald- he's proved he can contend here and his season will be no different. Read above.

Nick Watney- He may have fell apart on the weekend in Charlotte but with his ball striking and greens up to tour standard, this weekend will be different.

Bo Van Pelt- He's been right there for the last few weeks why not if you look at the history anyone can win here.

Steve Stricker- His semi- retired season has been working out and with temperatures warming up in Wisconsin hopefully he able to practice more back home.

Notables: Zach Johnson, David Lynn, Matt Kuchar


Billy Horschel- Its hard not to play his kid, he finished in the top 10 at Harbour Town and won at TPC Louisana, both Pete Dye layouts.

Henrik Stenson- A past winner here and trending in the right direction.

Notables: Adam Scott, Kevin Streelman, Jason Day

Fun Facts: Here's a link to PGA's stats on the 17th hole this week, I think we'll see some pissed pros this weekend.


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