I have a special relationship with TPC Sawgrass that was forged through Tiger Woods video games and grows each year on my television. It’s the first big tournament after The Masters, which means we get a great field playing on a course that is made for TV golf drama.
Someone is going to end up in the water on No. 17. It’s a 100%, Grade-A fact. I, for one, can’t wait to see who it is and how it affects the leaderboard each round. Very few courses have a marquee, main event hole like TPC Sawgrass does with the par 3 17th. It’s a beautiful, difficult masterpiece.
I believe part of its folklore - for my generation at least - truly comes from playing the hole in Tiger Woods golf. There’s just nothing quite like shooting to an island green. I have played a few courses over the years that have had semi-island greens, but nothing like at TPC Sawgrass. The funny part about it all is that No. 18 is probably a harder hole, but it doesn’t have the same kind of unique attraction.
All of that just to say, I can’t wait for the THE PLAYERS to kick off tomorrow. The field is great, with Masters champion Bubba Watson returning, Jordan Spieth looking to make a big bounce back, and Rory McIlroy hoping to somehow, someway get some consistency out of his swing for four rounds. Phil Mickelson is teeing it up after a disappointing Masters and Rickie Fowler is looking to get some of the momentum he had coming out The Masters back.
And then there’s Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, and Sergio Garcia - all notable names that will likely be in contention come Sunday. There are some really great groups teeing off together tomorrow, including:
Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson; Jordan Spieth, Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson; Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar; and Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Steve Stricker.
1. Jordan Spieth
2. Phil Mickelson
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Steve Stricker
5. Jim Furyk
Who ya got?