The Players Championship is considered “the fifth major” by Tour Pros and with the big prize pool the best always show up to take part at TPC Sawgrass. This year is no different with all of the big names in the field including Dustin Johnson who shook off the rust finishing second at the Wells Fargo last week.
This week I’m mostly looking at current form, as well as golfers who have the ability to go low when they are on their game. It’s going to take a score between -15 and -20 to win this tournament, so you need to find guys who can go low and also perform in strong field events.
Below I’ll provide my 6 top outright winner picks for the week. I’ll be using the best odds available from any of our top rated sportsbooks which you can see in the table below.
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Dustin Johnson 7/1 @ Bet365.com
DJ has been nearly unstoppable this year. He had that slip mishap at The Masters that forced him to withdraw, but he was back at the Wells Fargo last week and just about added another W, finishing only 1 shot back of Brian Harman, who hit a clutch late birdie to win the tourney. Any worries I had about DJ’s back are out the window after that performance.
Simply put, DJ is by far the best player on Tour right now. I think he’s a great bet at 7/1 even though he doesn’t have great course history at The Players. He’s simply on another level and if I can get him at 5/1 or better I’ll take him in every tournament he enters.
Rickie Fowler 21/1 @ SportsInteraction.com
Rickie pulled off a huge win at TPC Sawgrass two years back, memorably dialing in on the Island Green for two birdies in the playoff to get the win. The thing about Rickie is that I think he’s playing even better this year than he was in 2015. Rickie has quietly had an outstanding year. He’s finished top 16 in each of his last 6 starts on Tour (11, 3, 12, 16, 1, 4) and he’s been in contention in each of those tournaments going into Sunday.
I expect to see Fowler in one of the last two groups come Sunday this weekend and he will once again have the opportunity to seize the moment like he did in 2015.
Jon Rahm 22/1 @ Bet365.com
I think we all know now that Jon Rahm is the real deal. His recent history rivals that of Rickie Fowler with 4th, 27th, 10th, 3rd, 5th and 16th place finishes following his win at the Farmers earlier this year. Rahm has not played at The Players before, but his game should fit the course just fine. He ranks 2nd in T2G on tour this year, which is my most important stat this week. If he can get his putter rolling like he has throughout the year Rahm should definitely be in contention on Sunday and have the potential for his first of many high profile wins.
Russell Henley 84/1 @ SportsInteraction.com
When Henley is in form he is one of the better players in the world and this year Henley has found his form that seemed to leave him in 2016. Henley won the Shell Houston Open a few weeks back and followed that up with a solid 11th place finish at The Masters. He continued to play solid golf with a 26th place finish at the RBC that included a couple low rounds.
Henley missed the cut at The Players last year, but finished 24th and 17th the previous two years. As I mentioned before Henley’s game was off last year and now that he is back to striking the ball with authority I think he could be in the mix. At 84/1 he’s a great play.
Bernd Wiesberger 100/1 @ Bet365.com
Wiesberger went back to the Euro Tour and really found his game after The Masters. He won the Shenzhen International and then finished 4th at the Volvo China Open, shooting -16 and -17 at those events. Wiesberger has struggled to translate the success he has had on the Euro Tour into wins in North America, but he’s such a quality player I think it’s only a matter of time before he has success on this side of the pond.
At 100/1 I’m willing to take a flyer on a Euro player who is in form, has the ability and just needs to put it together in the USA.
Adam Hadwin 125/1 @ Bet365.com
Hadwin is a guy who can go very low when he dials in. He’s one of the best putters in the game, so when his approach shot is working he is one of the best players on Tour. Hadwin struggled in his last outing at the Valero Texas Open, but the conditions were not good at the tournament, so I’m not reading too much into that outing. He has a win at the Valspar this year, and also a second place finish at the CareerBuilder where he shot a 59, which is simply unheard of on a par-72 course. He can definitely go low, so he will always be on my radar when he’s over 100/1 to win and this week falls into that category.