The Players Championship starts tomorrow. Moved this year to March, it is the largest non-Major event of the 2019 golf season. Of course the pundits have made their choices and the usual names are at the top of the list. If you follow what has been happening so far this year, choosing a winner will be more difficult than expected. Regardless, I thought it would be fun lay out my thoughts and to let you know who will be in the winner’s circle on Sunday!
Before I lay out my top picks, I thought I would share how I got to my choices. These are some of the events that will happen during the Players that will be unexpected:
- the winner will not be in last group on Sunday
- the winner will be outside the top 10 of world golf rankings
- one of the top three in the world golf rankings will not make the cut
- there will be playoff
In Third – Justin Thomas. Obviously he is a top player and it is not surprise that he is on the list. His long hitting and accurate irons will be a huge plus this weekend. He will be in the final group on Sunday, but will lose to the eventual winner who will come from a few shots back.
In Second – Xander Schauffele. He played very well last year and has the game to compete with the top field. He is a quiet presence that is going to surprise the field this weekend. He is poised to win, but unfortunately he will loose in a playoff.
Winner – Tommy Fleetwood. He has the game to win, but has yet to win on the PGA Tour. Finishing 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a 4 under in the final round. Additionally, at the 2018 he shot a 63 at the US Open. Fleetwood has demonstrated he can go low on the final day and this is what will happen on Sunday. He will come from behind to win in a playoff.
Dark Horse – Phil Mickelson. With a win and second place, Mickelson is playing well in the early 2019 season. As the season progresses, his age plays a factor. With the Players Championship moved to March, he has a great opportunity to win this weekend. He might win, but I think a top 10 finish is more likely.
The Players Championship is a great event. It is the largest non-Major of 2019 and the field will be tough. Last year, minus 18 was the winning score, but this year minus 15 will get you in a playoff with Tommy Fleetwood taking home the 2019 Players Championship trophy.
What are our choices for this weekend’s tournament?
I am a grateful golfer! see you on the links!