PGA First Look: The PLAYERS Championship

The PGA First Look is complete with a course preview, odds, salaries, Official World Golf Rankings, and course history.

Click here to follow Notorious on Twitter.

Event Preview

Rory McIlroy just can’t seem to close the door when he puts himself in position to win. He now has six straight top six finishes on tour, but no wins to show for it. He’ll look to change that this week at the unofficial fifth major — The PLAYERS Championship. This is one of the wildest events on tour. The back nine offers one of the most dramatic finishes around and with so much water in play, there is carnage year after year when it comes to the cut. If you scroll through the course history below, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Golfers will win the PLAYERS one year and miss the cut the next. It’s a stressful week for everyone involved, but an exciting one nonetheless.

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is a Par 72 that measures nearly 7,200 yards. It is a Pete Dye design where placement off the tee is more important than raw distance. While length will certainly help reach the four par fives in two, this isn’t a course that bombers will be able to overpower. Over the years, driving accuracy here is slightly higher than the tour average, while driving distance is significantly shorter. To complete the picture, greens in regulation and scrambling here are both below tour average, while three-putt percentage is slightly higher than a typical event. This is a course that is going to test every aspect of your golf game and it doesn’t hurt if you can work the ball both ways.

If looking at off the tee statistics, I would recommend total driving or strokes gained off the tee — both of these combine distance and accuracy. Personally, I’m placing a bigger emphasis on iron play. With three par threes measuring at least 175 yards and with five par fours measuring 450-500 yards, golfers will need to be accurate with their long irons. The only short par three is the iconic 17th hole that features an island green. It’s not a particularly challenging golf shot, but with no place to miss and thousands of viewers surrounding the hole, it will test your nerves. The greens here are very small and feature Bermudagrass. Historically, the greens here have been lightning fast, measuring close to 13 on the stimpmeter. I will note that this is the first March edition of the PLAYERS since 2006.

The difficulty of the course will come down to two things — the weather and the course superintendent. They can make this course play extremely difficult, even without wind. Unfortunately for the players, the staff won’t need to do much to the course to make it play difficult this year. The forecast is calling for double-digit winds on all four days of the tournament with the heaviest of the winds expected on Thursday and Sunday. As always, make sure to check the weather on Wednesday night to see if any tee time wave will have the better weather draw.

Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties move on after the first two rounds. The MDF rule is in effect if more than 78 golfers make the initial cut.

Recent Winners of this Event: Webb Simpson (2018), Si Woo Kim (2017), Jason Day (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), Martin Kaymer (2014)

Key Statistics (In Order of Importance)

1) Strokes Gained Approach
2) Bogey Avoidance
3) Par 5 Scoring
4) Strokes Gained Putting (Emphasis on Bermuda)
5) Strokes Gained Around the Green

Sports Betting Card

YTD: 2 wins, +18 units

It was close to a big betting week. We had Tommy Fleetwood as an outright at 33/1, but a bad Saturday took him out of contention. We had Jason Kokrak make a nice run on Sunday, but he ultimately fell just shy of the top five. Luckily, Rafael Cabrera-Bello came through with a top five finish at 12/1, so we ended up six units for the week. This brings the total to +18 units on the season. The Players Championship is truly an event that can produce any type of winner and it’s a great tournament for long-shot top five and top ten bets.

Outright Bets

Rory McIlroy 12/1
Tiger Woods 28/1
Hideki Matsuyama 40/1
Matt Kuchar 55/1
Ian Poulter 55/1

Top Five Bets

Matt Kuchar 10/1
Rafael Cabrera-Bello 12/1
Ian Poulter 12/1

Top Ten Bets

Jim Furyk 10/1
Russell Knox 11/1
Bud Cauley 18/1

Salaries, Odds, and Course History (2014-2018)

Golfer DK Salary FD Salary FDRFT Salary OWGR Odds DK Odds FD Odds FDRFT Odds Cuts 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Dustin Johnson $11,400 $12,300 $17,200 1 12 0% 0% 0% 5/5 17 12 28 69 59
Justin Thomas $11,100 $12,100 $16,600 4 15 -50% -50% 0% 4/4 11 75 3 24 500
Rory McIlroy $10,800 $11,800 $17,200 6 12 33% 33% -100% 4/5 90 35 12 8 6
Tiger Woods $10,500 $11,100 $15,600 11 24 -100% 20% 0% 2/2 11 500 500 69 500
Justin Rose $10,200 $11,700 $15,900 2 20 20% 0% 0% 4/5 23 65 19 76 4
Brooks Koepka $10,000 $11,500 $15,800 3 23 -17% -17% -40% 3/4 11 16 35 76 500
Rickie Fowler $9,700 $11,600 $15,800 9 21 29% 0% 0% 3/5 90 60 77 1 77
Jon Rahm $9,500 $11,300 $15,600 10 26 -25% -25% -25% 2/2 63 72 500 500 500
Bryson DeChambeau $9,300 $11,400 $15,400 5 28 -33% -71% 0% 1/1 37 500 500 500 500
Jason Day $9,200 $11,200 $15,000 12 32 -40% -56% 0% 3/4 5 60 1 126 500
Sergio Garcia $9,100 $10,900 $15,300 26 31 -18% -8% 0% 5/5 70 30 54 2 3
Xander Schauffele $9,000 $11,000 $15,600 8 26 25% 18% -13% 1/1 2 500 500 500 500
Jordan Spieth $8,900 $10,800 $14,300 25 52 -85% -85% -20% 2/5 41 97 77 103 4
Tommy Fleetwood $8,800 $10,600 $15,600 13 27 21% 27% -38% 2/2 7 41 500 500 500
Patrick Cantlay $8,700 $10,000 $14,700 18 40 -20% 18% -6% 2/2 23 22 500 500 500
Francesco Molinari $8,600 $10,100 $15,800 7 21 63% 70% -20% 3/4 99 6 7 500 6
Webb Simpson $8,500 $10,300 $14,400 21 47 -12% -6% 0% 3/4 1 16 500 66 112
Tony Finau $8,400 $10,200 $14,100 14 52 -28% -21% 12% 1/3 57 83 116 500 500
Hideki Matsuyama $8,300 $10,500 $14,900 29 38 21% 6% 0% 4/5 120 22 7 17 23
Adam Scott $8,200 $10,700 $14,900 32 38 20% -14% -7% 5/5 11 6 12 38 38
Patrick Reed $8,100 $9,900 $13,900 16 63 -33% -17% 0% 3/5 41 22 77 24 137
Matt Kuchar $8,000 $10,000 $14,200 22 53 -14% -14% -19% 4/5 17 82 3 76 17
Paul Casey $7,900 $9,900 $14,600 15 40 26% 29% 6% 2/2 500 22 23 500 500
Phil Mickelson $7,900 $10,400 $13,800 20 67 -30% -76% -3% 1/5 135 41 77 119 83
Henrik Stenson $7,800 $9,600 $14,200 37 54 -4% 19% -24% 4/5 23 16 131 17 34
Louis Oosthuizen $7,800 $9,700 $13,300 28 77 -40% -17% 8% 3/5 126 2 28 69 135
Si Woo Kim $7,700 $9,700 $13,400 54 77 -33% -20% -13% 3/3 63 1 23 500 500
Cameron Champ $7,700 $9,500 $11,800 84 162 -156% -103% -8% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Ian Poulter $7,600 $9,800 $14,200 31 51 24% 21% -5% 5/5 11 2 57 30 65
Marc Leishman $7,600 $9,900 $14,200 19 49 31% 17% 5% 4/5 63 97 64 24 23
Cameron Smith $7,600 $9,900 $13,400 24 78 -31% -58% -19% 0/2 131 97 500 500 500
Gary Woodland $7,500 $10,100 $14,000 23 55 16% -35% 0% 3/5 99 75 28 134 11
Charl Schwartzel $7,500 $9,400 $12,600 95 104 -44% -24% -5% 3/4 2 114 500 51 48
Alexander Noren $7,500 $9,300 $12,700 27 102 -38% -13% -7% 2/2 17 10 500 500 500
Rafael Cabrera-Bello $7,400 $9,800 $14,200 30 51 40% 25% 0% 2/3 17 4 77 500 500
Keegan Bradley $7,400 $9,200 $13,400 34 78 -6% 12% -16% 3/5 7 60 35 76 83
Billy Horschel $7,400 $9,500 $13,400 40 75 3% 0% -6% 4/5 37 123 28 13 26
Branden Grace $7,400 $9,000 $12,200 41 129 -57% -15% 0% 4/4 46 48 57 42 500
Charles Howell $7,300 $9,600 $13,400 46 70 18% 0% 0% 2/4 17 500 116 56 83
Tyrrell Hatton $7,300 $9,300 $12,700 36 90 -3% -3% 2% 1/2 99 41 500 500 500
Bubba Watson $7,300 $9,500 $13,400 17 73 15% 3% -3% 4/5 57 123 43 42 48
Martin Kaymer $7,300 $8,200 $11,900 179 147 -56% 31% 0% 4/5 90 69 39 56 1
Hao-Tong Li $7,300 $9,300 $12,300 38 125 -38% -38% -4% 0/1 144 500 500 500 500
Michael Thompson $7,200 $12,000 123 138 -30% -2% 0/3 129 500 500 103 107
Adam Hadwin $7,200 $9,100 $12,600 65 103 -2% 0% -2% 3/4 57 30 39 119 500
Emiliano Grillo $7,200 $9,200 $12,400 55 119 -18% -24% -2% 2/3 37 11 110 500 500
Aaron Wise $7,200 $8,800 $11,800 59 157 -50% -18% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Shane Lowry $7,200 $8,000 $11,800 45 166 -59% 31% -9% 2/4 46 114 16 103 500
Lucas Glover $7,100 $9,200 $13,800 81 64 41% 31% 0% 2/3 72 6 500 500 83
Jim Furyk $7,100 $12,300 167 119 -8% -2% 3/4 500 83 35 56 2
Talor Gooch $7,100 $11,500 150 196 -63% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Danny Willett $7,100 $8,200 $11,000 76 255 -92% -6% -2% 0/3 131 500 77 90 500
Pat Perez $7,100 $8,600 $10,900 86 258 -94% -44% 1% 3/4 99 22 500 17 48
Kyle Stanley $7,100 $8,600 $10,800 42 282 -104% -52% -1% 2/3 90 4 500 500 71
Zach Johnson $7,000 $9,400 $12,500 80 109 11% -32% 0% 5/5 75 48 54 13 26
Kevin Kisner $7,000 $9,000 $12,600 48 98 24% 13% 5% 2/4 110 56 102 2 500
Luke List $7,000 $9,000 $12,500 66 112 9% -4% -2% 0/2 82 83 500 500 500
Ryan Moore $7,000 $8,400 $11,900 87 149 -15% 23% -3% 3/5 30 53 102 76 26
J.B. Holmes $7,000 $9,100 $12,000 44 142 -9% -33% -7% 2/5 110 41 77 51 121
Thorbjorn Olesen $7,000 $8,600 $11,500 47 195 -44% -20% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Jimmy Walker $7,000 $8,600 $11,600 100 189 -36% -14% -3% 3/5 2 56 139 90 6
Russell Knox $6,900 $8,600 $12,000 64 138 6% 12% -4% 3/5 99 97 19 17 34
Russell Henley $6,900 $8,300 $11,900 111 147 0% 27% -2% 3/5 90 35 116 24 17
Matthew Fitzpatrick $6,900 $8,600 $13,700 33 70 50% 53% 0% 1/3 46 104 77 500 500
Kiradech Aphibarnrat $6,900 $8,900 $12,000 39 136 10% -6% 0% 1/2 30 500 93 500 500
Beau Hossler $6,900 $8,700 $11,600 97 183 -16% -20% 1% 1/1 46 500 500 500 500
Abraham Ancer $6,900 $8,700 $11,400 63 201 -32% -37% -1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Brandt Snedeker $6,900 $9,100 $11,800 57 155 -3% -42% 0% 1/4 139 500 116 103 48
Byeong-Hun An $6,800 $8,700 $12,700 50 96 41% 32% 0% 1/2 30 500 77 500 500
Sungjae Im $6,800 $9,000 $12,800 71 99 38% 10% -8% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Keith Mitchell $6,800 $8,900 $12,600 58 104 32% 11% -7% 1/1 77 500 500 500 500
Danny Lee $6,800 $8,200 $11,100 104 228 -25% 3% 2% 2/4 7 139 35 90 500
Kevin Tway $6,800 $8,000 $11,000 96 266 -39% 5% -4% 1/1 46 500 500 500 500
C.T. Pan $6,800 $8,800 $11,200 109 232 -26% -55% -1% 1/1 46 500 500 500 500
Eddie Pepperell $6,800 $8,600 $11,200 43 237 -28% -33% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Brian Harman $6,800 $8,300 $10,600 79 316 -57% -27% -1% 3/5 139 53 54 8 94
Jason Kokrak $6,700 $9,000 $12,600 91 104 39% 2% -7% 1/4 46 83 500 76 128
Matt Wallace $6,700 $8,500 $13,300 35 80 49% 51% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Chesson Hadley $6,700 $8,500 $11,800 75 160 12% 14% -6% 2/4 11 500 127 24 83
Kevin Na $6,700 $8,600 $11,800 56 156 16% 2% -2% 3/4 46 500 77 6 38
Daniel Berger $6,700 $8,900 $12,300 73 118 34% 4% 2% 3/4 57 65 9 76 500
Chez Reavie $6,700 $8,700 $11,600 53 186 5% -22% 0% 2/3 30 56 93 500 500
Corey Conners $6,700 $10,300 200 421 -62% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Adam Long $6,700 $7,600 $10,600 110 326 -43% 6% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Ryan Palmer $6,600 $8,800 $12,000 68 142 31% -5% -5% 3/5 23 97 23 119 59
Bud Cauley $6,600 $8,800 $11,400 181 201 4% -46% -1% 0/1 99 500 500 500 500
Scott Stallings $6,600 $8,300 $10,700 157 287 -22% -22% -3% 2/3 129 500 500 75 65
Patrick Rodgers $6,600 $8,500 $11,500 137 200 5% -3% -5% 0/3 126 104 116 500 500
Charley Hoffman $6,600 $8,700 $11,400 83 214 0% -42% -5% 3/5 99 30 77 30 38
Austin Cook $6,600 $8,100 $10,900 146 270 -14% -1% -1% 1/1 46 500 500 500 500
J.J. Spaun $6,600 $8,100 $10,600 131 334 -34% -19% -7% 0/1 82 500 500 500 500
Jason Dufner $6,600 $8,400 $10,500 173 355 -36% -41% -1% 4/5 5 60 49 90 48
Harold Varner $6,500 $8,300 $11,400 159 212 10% 1% -4% 3/3 7 35 57 500 500
Andrew Putnam $6,500 $8,600 $11,100 49 242 3% -36% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Sam Ryder $6,500 $8,200 $10,700 156 282 -8% -12% 1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Lucas Bjerregaard $6,500 $8,100 $11,500 51 191 18% 21% 1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
JT Poston $6,500 $7,600 $11,000 223 249 1% 21% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Patton Kizzire $6,500 $8,200 $10,700 94 284 -11% -16% -2% 1/3 110 138 76 500 500
Kevin Streelman $6,500 $8,000 $10,900 180 276 -5% 3% -2% 2/5 90 72 74 119 112
Peter Uihlein $6,500 $7,900 $10,500 102 337 -24% -8% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Chris Kirk $6,400 $8,200 $11,700 166 180 30% 20% 0% 4/4 46 12 500 13 13
Nick Watney $6,400 $8,600 $11,000 162 250 8% -41% -1% 1/3 37 500 500 119 128
Scott Piercy $6,400 $8,700 $11,400 108 193 23% -30% 4% 1/4 99 143 23 103 500
Stewart Cink $6,400 $8,600 $10,600 90 329 -10% -68% -4% 1/3 110 500 500 113 38
Martin Laird $6,400 $8,600 $11,100 242 246 10% -38% -3% 1/4 57 83 93 500 94
Denny McCarthy $6,400 $7,900 $10,300 194 417 -22% -16% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Kelly Kraft $6,400 $7,800 $10,300 199 413 -21% -12% -2% 0/1 99 500 500 500 500
Ryan Blaum $6,400 $7,400 $10,200 268 474 -31% -5% -3% 1/1 77 500 500 500 500
Vaughn Taylor $6,300 $7,600 $10,300 234 397 -11% -3% -1% 0/3 110 130 77 500 500
Aaron Baddeley $6,300 $11,600 198 192 29% -5% 1/4 500 41 93 139 112
Brian Gay $6,300 $8,600 $10,700 130 282 8% -52% 1% 1/3 72 114 500 500 121
Rory Sabbatini $6,300 $8,000 $10,700 229 291 4% -4% -4% 3/3 30 500 500 6 38
Scott Brown $6,300 $7,800 $10,600 246 329 -2% -2% -4% 3/5 23 83 102 30 62
Brendan Steele $6,300 $8,400 $11,100 134 241 18% -9% -1% 4/5 79 6 57 76 26
Anirban Lahiri $6,300 $7,900 $10,700 186 305 3% 0% -5% 0/3 82 114 500 113 500
Ted Potter $6,300 $7,700 $10,200 119 495 -24% -18% -5% 1/2 41 500 500 500 83
Martin Trainer $6,300 $7,500 $10,300 132 421 -15% -2% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Bronson Burgoon $6,200 $7,800 $10,200 144 471 -10% -19% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Ryan Armour $6,200 $7,700 $10,400 114 366 0% -4% 0% 0/1 99 500 500 500 500
Joel Dahmen $6,200 $7,600 $10,200 183 484 -13% -14% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Richy Werenski $6,200 $8,100 $10,200 189 434 -8% -33% 0% 1/1 23 500 500 500 500
John Huh $6,200 $7,300 $10,200 366 518 -15% -5% -6% 1/5 82 83 139 103 72
Andrew Landry $6,200 $7,400 $10,300 124 387 -2% 5% 0% 1/1 67 500 500 500 500
Michael Kim $6,200 $7,000 $10,100 309 695 -22% -7% -1% 1/2 139 60 500 500 500
Tyler Duncan $6,200 $7,100 $10,200 418 571 -19% -6% -10% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Seamus Power $6,200 $7,000 $10,100 439 618 -21% -6% -1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Jhonattan Vegas $6,100 $8,100 $11,800 116 158 47% 30% -5% 3/4 41 83 57 42 500
Brian Stuard $6,100 $7,600 $10,600 241 332 11% 3% -6% 2/4 500 75 93 134 17
Troy Merritt $6,100 $7,400 $10,300 196 429 0% -1% -6% 1/3 500 114 116 72 500
Nick Taylor $6,100 $7,500 $10,600 292 313 16% 12% 0% 2/3 79 500 110 73 500
Vijay Singh $6,100 $7,800 $10,400 464 380 6% -9% -1% 3/3 500 16 28 63 500
Tom Hoge $6,100 $7,000 $10,200 298 471 -2% 4% -2% 1/1 72 500 500 500 500
Harris English $6,100 $7,700 $10,600 295 321 14% 4% -2% 0/5 120 142 102 90 112
Ollie Schniederjans $6,100 $8,000 $10,300 239 418 2% -23% -3% 1/1 75 500 500 500 500
Brandon Harkins $6,100 $7,800 $10,200 270 492 -6% -23% -5% 1/1 67 500 500 500 500
Sung Kang $6,000 $7,500 $11,700 161 188 46% 39% -4% 1/2 143 30 500 500 500
Trey Mullinax $6,000 $8,200 $10,800 220 279 27% -11% 0% 0/1 110 500 500 500 500
Scott Langley $6,000 $10,500 218 359 14% -2% 2/2 500 500 500 66 34
Sam Saunders $6,000 $7,500 $10,200 265 461 5% -6% -1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Whee Kim $6,000 $7,100 175 610 -4% -7% 0/1 110 500 500 500 500
Alex Cejka $6,000 $7,000 $10,200 383 558 -2% -3% -9% 3/3 500 79 9 74 500
Brice Garnett $6,000 $7,300 $10,200 135 539 -1% -7% -8% 1/2 41 500 500 129 500
Grayson Murray $6,000 $7,300 $10,200 318 518 0% -5% -6% 2/2 30 79 500 500 500
Satoshi Kodaira $6,000 $7,200 $10,200 61 558 -2% -5% -9% 0/1 110 500 500 500 500

Color Coding
Course history in BLUE indicates a top ten finish.
Course history in GREEN indicates a top 25 finish.
Course history in YELLOW indicates a made cut with a finish outside the top 25.
Course history in RED indicates a missed cut.

Legend

Term Description
Site Odds The percentage differential between a golfer’s salary rank and odds rank. The higher the %, the better.
OWGR Official World Golf Ranking
Cuts Cut record of each golfer at this course in the last five seasons.
2013 – 2017 Columns Course history at this event in the last five seasons.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win

Comments

  • X Unread Thread
  • X Thread with New Replies*
  • *Jumps to your first unread reply

New to DFS?

Be sure to click through our links and use our exclusive promo codes to receive the industry's best sign-up bonuses, including free access to our premium content.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports!

Disclosures: All RotoGrinders content contributors are active DFS players. Contributor screen names can be found on their respective RotoGrinders profile pages. Contributors reserve the right to use players or strategies not discussed in their content on RotoGrinders.