Although The Players Championship is not a Major in golf, it sure can create the excitement and heartbreak of one. As I watched the play over the weekend, I realized that professional golfers have the same challenges as amateurs when challenging conditions are present. And since last Thursday, the weather created the environment where doubles, triples and quads were not a surprise. Having said this, I did learn three things that make me feel much better about my game.Continue reading
For anyone who follows the comings and goings of professional golf, Lee Westwood’s name pops up from time to time. Over the years, he has demonstrated his ability to play to level golf only to quietly fade into the background. With 44 world wide wins to his credit and 10 Ryder Cup appearances, Westwood is a well known name in golf circles. Yet until recently, he was in the background where he was given some token recognition with no real expectations from any of the fans. Now, he is on top of the golfing world and our expectations have risen exponentially as we wait to see what he does next.Continue reading
As I watched the final round of The Players Championship, I was reminded of an important lesson about playing competitive golf. As Lee Westwood struggled in most areas of his game, he demonstrated a moxie that should inspire most players. I watched him hit poor shots, then respond with clutch recovery shots. He hit his ball into the pond or a sand trap only to respond by working his magic to reduce the damage. Westwood showed that as a professional golfer, actually any golfer, it is important to never stop grinding during a challenging round.Continue reading
When I was watching The Players Championship on the weekend, congrats to Justin Thomas on the win, I was impressed by the stellar play. Conversely, I watched some challenging shots that I thought could have been avoided. Regardless of what I think, the roller coaster round is a natural thing for most golfers as we accept wayward shots as part of the game. Yet, I was a bit concerned by one of the announcers who stated that one of the players just committed and unforced error!Continue reading
Starting tomorrow, some of the best golfers in the world will be teeing it up for the first major in 2020. Played at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, The Players is poised to grab the attention of the golf world. The field is strong and players are prepared for all the hype and pressure that is associated with what some consider the 5th major. It will be interesting to see who will rise to the top of the heap to claim the prize!
The odds makers have said their piece and picked their winner from the 144 man field. I am not sure exactly how they came up with the odds because depending on which odds maker you follow, the results are different. However, I am sure it was a little more scientific that gut feel.
In one poll, Rory McIlroy is the top pick to win this weekend. This is not a far stretch considering he is the world number one ranked player. Close on his heels in the odds is Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, and Patrick Cantlay. Of course there are many other top names in the field, but the odds makers believe these players have the best chance to win. I guess their thoughts are as good as any others. However, the poll I chosen to use is from PGATOUR power rankings. I figure their selections is something that most readers can support as the benchmark moving forward.
In the past, I have tried to select winners for the big five tournaments. I had mixed success, but it was fun pontificating on who would end up in the winners circle. At The Players this year I decided to try something different, I am randomly picking names from the field and will compare them to the odds makers to see how I do. I have decided to limit my comparison to the top 5 players for ease of math. The table is read from first to fifth, here it goes:
|Odds Makers||The Grateful Golfers|
|Justin Thomas||Kevin Kisner|
|Rory McIlroy||Charley Hoffman|
|Jon Rahm||Pat Perez|
|Webb Simpson||Abraham Ancer|
|Patrick Reed||Francesco Molinari|
As you can see, my team does not really stack up well against the odds makers. However, if one thing golf shows us is that on any given day, any player can win. My head and heart would not have picked my random players, but whose to say that this would be any better.
The Players is going to provide some exciting golf and I am looking forward to see some fantastic shots, great recoveries, and long unimaginable putts. It action is going to be worth watching.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!