The Players Championship Betting Tips & Analysis – 10th May 2018

Widely known in golf as the fifth major, the Players Championship is the PGA Tour’s flagship event. It’s played at the wonderful TPC Sawgrass and has a huge prize fund so it’s no surprise that the world’s top 50 players are in all attendance at Ponte Vedra this week.

The strength of the field is matched by the quality of the list of Players Championship winners. Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler have all won in the last five renewals at the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course which demands incredible iron play, short game skills and most of all, patience. That combination has also served up some shock winners including defending champion, Si-woo Kim, who won by three strokes from Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen in 2017.

Who Will Win?

The genius of Pete Dye’s design is that any type of golfer can contend here providing they play well enough. The 7,189 par 72 layout cannot be overpowered by the bombers, it doesn’t hand too much of an advantage to the best putters and it’s not an overly fiddly design that plays into the hands of the nudgers.

What the Stadium Course does demand is accuracy off the tee and (arguably most importantly) into the greens. Last year’s Players Championship was the first since the latest round of renovation which saw all the greens re-laid. The extra firmness of the relatively small putting surfaces put an added premium on ball striking whilst also providing a stern test of the players’ short game.

Although the likes of Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy have a chance of winning any tournament they play in, you get the feeling that TPC Sawgrass just requires them to go out of their comfort zone too much. Whereas for Henrik Stenson, the course plays right into his strengths.

It is said of Stenson that he makes a sound like no other player on the planet when striking his irons. The Swede has earned millions upon millions all around the world thanks to his world class iron play and a decent percentage of those earnings have come at TPC Sawgrass. Stenson won the Players Championship in 2009 by four strokes and has a smattering of other finishes inside the top 20.

The recent changes to the course should hand Stenson an even bigger advantage given that he currently tops the PGA Tour’s stats for strokes gained approaching the green. The calibre of Stenson’s opposition means he is still available at 28/1 with Bet365. That’s a price which could look quickly look too big once the event gets underway.

Betting Tip – Henrik Stenson at 28/1 with Bet365

Outsiders, Each Way Tips and Other Bets

You can make a case for each of the world’s top 10 this week but of them all, it’s Jordan Spieth who offers the most appeal at 16/1 with Ladbrokes. He loves this course, has played some stellar stuff this season and has proven that he’s a player for the big occasions. Spieth also looks a good bet in the first round leader market at 30/1 with Bet365.

Rafa Cabrera Bello missed the cut on his first appearance at the Players Championship but improved significantly last year to finish inside the top five. The Spaniard is eighth for strokes gained approaching the green this season and can do his Ryder Cup chances the power of good this week by contending at 110/1 with Betfred.