2014 The PLAYERS Championship Expert Picks, Fantasy Golf Advice & Predictions

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“The 2014 PLAYERS Championship”

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The 2014 PLAYERS Championship

This year’s “mini-major” is here. It’s Players Championship week and that means the best golfers (sans Tiger Woods) are heading to the TPC at Sawgrass for the “fifth major”. Previous champions include: Tiger Woods (2013, 2001), Matt Kuchar (2012), K.J. Choi (2011), Tim Clark (2010), Henrik Stenson (2009), Sergio Garcia (2008), Phil Mickelson (2007), Stephen Ames (2006), Fred Funk (2005), Adam Scott (2004), Davis Love III (2003), Craig Perks (2002), and Hal Sutton (2001). With Tiger on the shelf for a while longer, who will take advantage and step up to act like the #1 golfer in the world?

TPC Sawgrass is a par 72, 7,215 yard test that tends to produce a prominent champion, although last year’s champion won’t get the chance to repeat. The course is known for having one of the more interesting finishes on tour with the 16th a reachable par 5 defended by water on the right and long, the 17th is the famous island green that can change the entire landscape of the golf tournament, and the 18th with water all the way down the left side, sometimes coming into play for an overzealous draw.

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Group A
Group B
Group B
Group C
Round 4
Adam Scott
Jim Furyk
Rory McIlroy
Sergio Garcia
Round 4 Notes
  • Weather: 4-5mph winds in the morning with 30% chance of showers – may be perfect golf conditions in the AM. 10-11mph winds in the PM, so not too bad if forecast is correct, but the pressure will be mounting on the leaders.
  • Round 4 Starters: (A) We’ll start Adam Scott one last time, although he’s had some terrible holes over the course of his 3 days thus far. Kuchar is a long shot from “medaling” on Sunday. (B) Rory started off +4 on his first 6 holes and had us regretting starting him, but somehow he finished the day at -3, so we won’t complain. Given his up and down play, we’ll start him again and hope he puts together a really good round for once this week. Also, Justin Rose got assessed a two stroke penalty on the last hole for failing to replace his ball after it moved (a one stroke penalty, typically), so now he’s -5 and 7 strokes out of 2nd place. We’ll preserve our Rose start and hope that Furyk puts together another final round charge. (C) Charl didn’t do much on Saturday (+5) and Sergio, despite some poor putting, has it going, so we’ll take Sergio for round 4.
  • Our Draftstreet team looks likely to double our money for the 3rd week in a row with all six of our players making the cut this week. (signup with the code “golfstrat” to get bonus money equal to your initial deposit. Hopefully they’ll do a FreeRoll for a PGA tournament sometime soon. We choose the “Double-Up” game where you have to finish in the top half to double your money, as it’s a better risk-reward for higher quality picks over time – less luck driven.


Recent Finishes
“Players” Finishes
(A) Matt Kuchar (1) RBC
(5) Masters
(P2) Shell
(4) Valero
(48) 2013
(1) 2012
(51) 2011
(13) 2010
(9) 2009
Kuchar is the hottest golfer on tour and he’s already won the Players once before. There are a talented bunch of Group A players, but you’d be hard pressed not to start Kuchar here.
(A) Adam Scott (14) Masters
(3) Bay Hill
(25) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(19) 2013
(15) 2012
(MC) 2011
(26) 2010
(MC) 2009
Adam has a spotty track record at the Players, with two missed cuts in his last 5 tries, but his other attempts were solid and he’s been solid in 2014 thus far. It’s time for him to win. Others to consider: #3 Henrik Stenson, #4 Bubba Watson, #5 Luke Donald, #6 Gary Woodland, #7 Rory Sabbatini, #8 Phil Mickelson
(B) Jim Furyk (2) Wells
(7) RBC
(14) Masters
(6) Valero
(MC) 2013
(25) 2012
(MC) 2011
(47) 2010
(5) 2009
Furyk is hot and playing consistently although he hasn’t challenged for a victory. He’s a safe bet and hopefully will be hanging around the leaderboard on Sunday.
(B) Rory McIlroy (8) Wells
(8) Masters
(7) Shell
(25) WGC Cadillac
(8) 2013
(MC) 2012
(MC) 2010
(MC) 2009
After three missed cuts at the PLAYERS, he got a top 10 in 2013 and has a lot of momentum heading into the 2014 Players Championship. He’s primed for a victory and has shot the occasional low round so far this season.
(B) Justin Rose (5) Wells
(8) Zurich
(14) Masters
(MC) Bay Hill
(MC) 2013
(51) 2012
(45) 2011
(MC) 2010
(22) 2009
Somehow the wins elude Justin and his track record at the Players is not very good. However, he keeps plugging along and appears like he will snatch a victory sometime soon.
(B) Jordan Spieth (12) RBC
(2) Masters
(MC) Shell
(10) Valero
never played
Jordan has never played the PLAYERS; however never having played Augusta didn’t stop him from contending at the Masters. Jordan’s ability to take on new courses and contend in big tournaments is a huge plus for us this week. Others to consider: #5 Ian Poulter, #6 Zach Johnson, #7 Keegan Bradley, #8 Steve Stricker, #9 Graham DeLaet, #10 Bill Haas (Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer are two other wild cards to keep on your radar this week)
(C) Sergio Garcia (MC) Masters
(3) Shell
(16) WGC Cadillac
(8) Honda
(8) 2013
(56) 2012
(12) 2011
(56) 2010
(22) 2009
Primed to rebound from barely missing the cut at the Masters. He should build on his 8th place finish last year.
(C) Charl Schwartzel (12) RBC
(MC) Masters
(19) Shell
(9) WGC Cadillac
(55) 2013
(26) 2011
(MC) 2010
Charl is going to get the nod over J.B. Holmes given that Holmes may fall victim to the winner’s curse where rising to the occasion two weeks in a row becomes too difficult. Seung-Yul Noh didn’t do so well this week, so it’s a toss-up. Others to consider: #3 J.B. Holmes, #4 John Senden, #5 Thomas Bjorn, #6 Joost Luiten, #6 Graeme McDowell, #7 Charley Hoffman


#1 Rory McIlroy (15/1) #2 Adam Scott (31/2) #3 Matt Kuchar (18/1) #4 Justin Rose (24/1) #4 Phil Mickelson (24/1)
#6 Sergio Garcia (26/1) #7 Henrik Stenson (27/1) #8 Luke Donald (29/1) #9 Jordan Spieth (32/1) #10 Lee Westwood (36/1)
#10 Bubba Watson (36/1) #12 Jim Furyk (40/1) #13 Dustin Johnson (46/1) #14 Zach Johnson (48/1) #15 Charl Schwartzel (55/1)
#15 Keegan Bradley (55/1) #15 Jimmy Walker (55/1) #18 Rickie Fowler (60/1) #19 Graeme McDowell (65/1) #19 Webb Simpson (65/1)
#19 Harris English (65/1) #22 Ian Poulter (70/1) #22 Brandt Snedeker (70/1) #24 Jason Dufner (75/1) Odds by Betfair