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PLAYERS Championship Course Preview and Odds: Is Pete Dye Form an Indicator?

This week, Tom Jacobs takes a dive into one of the most famous courses on the PGA Tour and host of "the fifth major" TPC Sawgrass.
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PLAYERS Championship Course Preview and Odds: Is Pete Dye Form an Indicator?

TPC Sawgrass has been the host course for The PLAYERS Championship since 1982, hosting 40 renewals, so we have a great idea of what to expect from this famed layout.

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The Course

TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course)

  • Length: 7,189 Yards
  • Par: 72
  • Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
  • Designer: Pete and Alice Dye
  • Course Record: 63 (eight times)

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Pete Dye is a well-known designer on the PGA Tour, so we have several stops on the PGA Tour to look at, with some worth pondering more than others. Let's look at any crossover between some of Dye's layouts.

There are sixteen players who have finished 1st or 2nd at both of these events, and this is the list of players who have WON both:

  • Webb Simpson
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Davis Love III
  • Justin Leonard
  • Greg Norman
  • Nick Price
  • Jack Nicklaus

Now, this is an elite list of players, and Jack Nicklaus' Heritage win came on a different course, so maybe there isn't a lot to glean from these players winning both events, but when you consider that Glen Day won the Heritage and finished 2nd at the PLAYERS, and only won once on the PGA Tour, Si-Woo Kim has won the PLAYERS and lost in a playoff at the Heritage, and Luke Donald has multiple runner-up finishes at both, you realize the crossover is real. Another player that strengthens the case is JT Poston. He is not a name you would associate with success at the PLAYERS Championship but in two starts he's finished T22 both times, and he also has a pair of top-8 finishes at Harbour Town.

TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship)

  • Nick Price, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson have won both events.
  • Sergio Garcia has won The PLAYERS and finished 2nd at the Travelers.
  • Stewart Cink is a two-time Travelers champion and finished 3rd at The PLAYERS.
  • Kevin Streelman has a win and a 2nd at the Travelers and finished 2nd at The PLAYERS.
  • Paul Goydos, Jeff Maggert, Scott Verplank, and Mark Calcavecchia have finished 2nd at both.
  • Brian Harman has three top-8 finishes here at TPC Sawgrass, including a 3rd last year. He also has 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th place finishes at the Travelers.
  • Danny Lee has a 7th place finish here at The PLAYERS and a 3rd place finish at the Travelers.
  • Brendan Steele has multiple top-20 finishes at the Travelers, including two top-6's and he's also finished 6th here at Sawgrass.

Other Correlating Courses and Events

Sedgefield Country Club (Wyndham Championship)

  • Since the event returned to Sedgefield Country Club in 2008, there has been plenty of crossover between The PLAYERS and the Wyndham Championship.
  • Davis Love III, Henrik Stenson, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia, and Si Woo Kim have all won both events.
  • Adam Scott has won The PLAYERS and lost the Wyndham in a playoff last year.
  • Tim Clark has won The PLAYERS and finished 2nd to fellow PLAYERS winner, Sergio Garcia at the Wyndham.
  • Kevin Kisner won the Wyndham last year and finished 2nd at The PLAYERS in 2015.
  • Luke Donald has been 2nd at both.
  • David Toms has finished 2nd at both.
  • J.T. Poston's only win came at the Wyndham Championship and he has finished T22 here on both his starts.
  • Bill Haas has a 2nd at the Wyndham and a 4th at The PLAYERS.
  • George McNeill was 2nd at the Wyndham in 2011 and finished 13th at The PLAYERS in 2014.
  • Ollie Schniederjans finished 2nd at the 2017 Wyndham Championship and managed a 16th place finish at The PLAYERS when woefully out of form in 2019. He was just six shots back of winner Rory McIlroy in the end, and he had tied the lead at one point, but a triple-bogey 6 at the famous 17th hole cost him a lot of money that week.

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Course Form (Past 10 Years)

Below is the Top-10 for adjusted scoring average over the past 10 years at this event:

  • Bryson DeChambeau - 37-20-3
  • Justin Thomas - 24-3-MC-11-35-1
  • Tommy Fleetwood - 41-7-5-MC
  • Abraham Ancer - 12-22
  • Si-Woo Kim - 23-1-63-56-9
  • Core Conners - 41-7
  • Joel Dahmen - 12-MC
  • Matt Wallace - 30
  • J.T. Poston - 22-22
  • Hideki Matsuyama - 23-17-7-22-MC-8-MC

If we remove Abraham Ancer, Corey Conners, Joel Dahmen, Matt Wallace, and J.T. Poston, as they have not played 3+ times the following names make the list:

  • Jason Day - 6-MC-19-MC-1-60-5-8-35
  • Brooks Koepka - MC-35-16-11-56
  • Jon Rahm - MC-63-12-9
  • Sergio Garcia - 12-56-8-3-2-54-30-70-22-9
  • Adam Scott - MC-15-19-38-38-12-6-11-12-48

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Key Stats

SG Approach - Contrary to popular belief, I cannot just copy and paste this section, as I try to give a different reason as to why I should put this up as a key stat. With so much water on this course and plenty of tough holes, you cannot avoid strong iron play here.

Here are the last five winners of The PLAYERS ranked in SG Approach the week they won:

  • 2021 - Justin Thomas - 5th
  • 2019 - Rory McIlroy - 6th
  • 2018 - Webb Simpson - 62nd
  • 2017 - Si-woo Kim - 18th
  • 2016 - Jason Day - 9th

SG Off-The-Tee - At this stage, you can obviously group these together with Tee-to-Green, which will also include players' around-the-green game, but here are the rankings for the last five winners in SG-Off-the-Tee.

  • 2021 - Justin Thomas - 10th
  • 2019 - Rory McIlroy - 2nd
  • 2018 - Webb Simpson - 32nd
  • 2017 - Si Woo Kim - 2nd
  • 2016 - Jason Day - 28th

Bermuda Green Putting - Specifically putting well in Florida will be key, so look at those that have putted well over the past fortnight. There are other Bermuda-green courses, including the RBC Heritage which is also TifEagle Bermuda, and the Wyndham Championship, both of which were flagged up as relevant earlier.

PLAYERS Championship Winner Odds

+1200Jon Rahm
+1400Justin Thomas
+1400Rory Mcllroy
+1600Collin Morikawa
+2000Viktor Hovland
+2700Patrick Cantlay
+2700Xander Schauffele
+2900Bryson DeChambeau
+2900Cameron Smith
+2900Dustin Johnson
+2900Hideki Matsuyama
+2900Scottie Scheffler
+4100Brooks Koepka
+4100Daniel Berger
+4100Jordan Spieth
+4100Sam Burns
+4100Sungjae Im
+4100Will Zalatoris


Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!


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