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The Players Championship Tips & Preview - Top contenders for victory at TPC Sawgrass

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Last updated: 07 Mar 2023
Freetips staff 07 Mar 2023
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  • The Players Championship takes place between 9-12 March
  • The tournament takes place at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Our four selections who could win on Sunday
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rory mcilroy
Rory McIlroy is the top pick for Sawgrass (Getty Images)

The world's elite golfers and PGA Tour return to the majestic TPC Sawgrass this weekend, with the unofficial fifth Major on the line. Who will win the coveted Players Championship come Sunday?

Cameron Smith will not be back to defend his title after defecting to the LIV Golf Tour last year.

Past and present major winners featuring at TPC Sawgrass include Scottie Scheffler, Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Thomas, John Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Gary Woodland, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Francesco Molinari, Webb Simpson and Danny Willett.

These are our four selections that could win the title this weekend. 

Rory Mcllroy


Rory McIlroy had the best start to his new season, securing back-to-back titles at the CJ Cup and Hero Dubai Desert Classic(DP World Tour) and finishing T32 at the WM Phoenix Open and T29 at the Genesis Invitational before returning to form at the Arnold Palmer Invitational by placing T2 overall.  

Before that, the 33-year-old finished T8 at the BMW Championship, victory at the Tour Championship, T2 at the BMW PGA Championship, 4th at the Italian Open, T4 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and 4th at the DP World Tour Championship.

The third-ranked golfer in the world has a long history at the Players Championship, with his best results being T8 in 2013, T6 in 2014, T8 in 2015, T12 in 2016, and victory in 2019.

McIlroy was challenging for the title in his last start and has tasted success at this PGA Tour event before. Can he regain the world number one ranking with victory in Florida?

Scottie Scheffler


Scottie Scheffler has been in excellent form on the PGA Tour this season by placing T45 at the CJ Cup, T3 at the World Wide Technology Championship, T9 at the Houston Open, 2nd at the Hero World Challenge, T7 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, T11 at the American Express before winning the WM Phoenix Open and finishing at the T12 at the Genesis Invitational and T4 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past weekend.

The world's number two-ranked golfer has not had the best time around TPC Sawgrass, missing the cut in 2020 and finishing T55 in 2022.

Scheffler has been ultra-consistent with his performances and has the form to add the Players Championship trophy to his cabinet this weekend.

Cameron Young


Cameron Young has had a promising start to the new season, going close to winning his maiden title on a few occasions.

Young placed T53 at the ZOZO Championship, T23 at the CJ Cup, 3rd at the Hero World Challenge, T13 at the Tournament of Champions, T26 at the American Express, 2nd at the Saudi International (Asian Tour), 64th at the WM Phoenix Open, T20 at the Genesis Invitational and T10 at the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 25-year-old American missed the cut on his debut at this PGA Tour event in 2022.

Young has been thereabouts and offers excellent value at the Players Championship this weekend.   

Jason Day


Jason Day has rediscovered his form on the golf course this season, posting consistent results on the PGA Tour.  

The 35-year-old has placed T8 at the Shriners Children's Open, T11 at the CJ Cup, T21 at the World Wide Technology Championship, T16 at the Cadence Bank Houston Open, MC at the RSM Classic, T18 at the American Express, T7 at the Farmers Insurance Open, T5 at the WM Phoenix Open, T9 at the Genesis Invitational and T10 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this past weekend.

The Australian golfer has a proven track record at the Players Championship, winning the event in 2016 and finishing T60 in 2017, T5 in 2018, T8 in 2019, T35 in 2021 and MC in 2022.

Day has been knocking hard in recent months and is the long-shot value bet in Florida.

Verdict

McIlroy has the form to win his second Players Championship in his career.

Scheffler has claims for the title in Florida this weekend.

Young has shown he has the game to compete with the very best and will fancy his chances to get over the finish line.

Day has not won a PGA Tour tournament for a while, but he has looked solid lately and can upstage the others at the TPC Sawgrass.

Best Bet: Rory McIlroy Each-Way @9/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Scottie Scheffler Each-Way @10/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Cameron Young Each-Way @35/1 at bet365 - 1 Unit
Value Bet: Jason Day Each-Way @35/1 at Grosvenor Sports - 1 Unit
Rory McIlroy
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Scottie Scheffler
Each-Way
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Cameron Young
Each-Way
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Jason Day
Each-Way
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