The PLAYERS Championship is often referred to as the fifth major on the PGA Tour because it annually hosts such a strong field – every member of the world’s Top 50 is entered in 2018, the first such event with all of them since the 2016 U.S. Open – and offers massive prize money.
It’s the PGA of America’s flagship event and also features one of the most well-known holes in golf at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida: the par-3 17th island hole. A whopping 69 balls found the water there in 2017.
This year’s PLAYERS Championship starts Thursday, and it’s the last time the tournament will be played at this point on the calendar for the foreseeable future. The Tour made some dramatic changes to the 2018-19 calendar, with the biggest moving the PGA Championship, currently the last of the four major championships and played in August, to May next year. The PLAYERS, then, will move to March, where it was also staged from 1977-2006.
The PLAYERS Championship betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com this week are the usual suspects for the most part: Rory McIlroy (+1400), Jason Day (+1400), Justin Thomas (+1400), and Jordan Spieth (+1400). The only golfer among that group to have won the PLAYERS Championship is the Aussie Day in 2016 at 15-under 273.
Day also comes off a victory on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte. McIlroy is a combined 29-under in the past five years at the PLAYERS, tops in the field, with a best finish of sixth in 2014.
Spieth and Thomas could both take the world No. 1 ranking from Dustin Johnson (+1800) depending on how they finish; Johnson must finish at least T11 to keep it. Spieth was fourth in his first PLAYERS Championship four years ago but has missed the cut the past three.
Thomas’ best result at TPC Sawgrass was third in 2016. Johnson has just one Top 20 at the PLAYERS, a 12th last year.
Just six golfers have won the PLAYERS multiple times. One of those is Tiger Woods (+3300), who plays here for the first time since 2015. He won in 2001 and 2013; Jack Nicklaus is the only three-time winner.
Surprisingly, no golfer has ever repeated at this tournament as Si Woo Kim (+7500) will attempt. The South Korean shot 10-under 278 last year to win by three. The last American winner was Rickie Fowler (+1800) in 2015.
If planning on doing some in-tournament betting, perhaps don’t wager on the golf odds on the 54-hole leader to win the PLAYERS Championship. Just two of the previous 11 have: Day and Martin Kaymer (+20000) in 2014.
For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.
Source: Heavy Sports