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2022 PLAYERS Championship Betting Preview: Course Preview, Past Winners and Predictions

Don't miss this PLAYERS Championship betting preview. Course preview, past winners and predictions from handicapper Johnny Covers. Who should you be backing to win the PLAYERS Championship? Find out here
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2022 PLAYERS Championship Betting Preview: Course Preview, Past Winners and Predictions

The Tour’s official Flagship event will go off this weekend in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, as the 2022 Players Championship will draw the biggest names in golf. Fitting the billing, the $20 million purse will by far be the biggest of the season, with the winner taking home $3.6 million and 80 OWGR points will be on the line. 

For many of the bigger names on Tour, this weekend could also be one of the last you see them until the first major of the year, the Masters' Tournament in one month’s time. For an event that many consider the unofficial “fifth major”, let’s take a look at how things could shape up as the weekend unfolds in Florida.

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Past Winners of The Players Championship

  • 2021: Justin Thomas
  • 2020: N/A (Event Cancelled)
  • 2019: Rory McIlroy

Course Preview: THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass

The very first Tournament Players Club (TPC), TPC at Sawgrass is home to the PGA Tour headquarters and in turn one of the most challenging courses its players will see all season. Headlined by the infamous “Island Green” 17th hole Par-3, all but one hole on the entire course has water in play as approach shots and accuracy on Par-3s will be critical for success. 

As we see through the entire Florida swing of the PGA Tour, TPC Sawgrass features Bermuda greens. Unlike many courses we see on Tour each week, this Pete Dye-designed course doesn't necessarily play to one specific style of play or strength. 

With par 5s maxing out at 583 yards and par 4s at 481 yards, distance is less of an issue than stellar iron play. Penalty strokes will also be of major concern this week, as a total of 17 holes have water hazards. With the water combined with difficult bunkers surrounding most of the greens, approach shots will be critical. 

Relevant Betting Course Metrics

  • SG: Approach
  • SG: Off-The-Tee
  • Driving Accuracy
  • Bermuda Greens

Click here for the latest PLAYERS Championship odds

PLAYERS Championship Outright Picks

Hideki Matsuyama @ +3100 (Bet $100 to win $3,100)

Tied with even others, Matsuyama shot a course record 63 here in 2020 in the only round that was played due to the pandemic. Despite missing the cut last year, Matsuyama has his fair share of success at TPC Sawgrass. Dating back to his first start here in 2014, Matsuyama has five top 25s and two top 10s. 

As he often does, Matsuyama ground out a low score on Sunday last week at Bay Hill despite being largely out of contention. And then there’s his recent form. Having yet to miss a cut so far this season, Matsuyama has six top 20s, four top 10s, and two solo wins. 

As far as his metrics go, Matsuyama comes into this week #13 on Tour in SG: Approach, and has been dialing it in from distances that will be critical this week. From approaches of 200-225 and 225-250, Matsuyama ranks #12 and #9 respectively. 

In an outright market that has already seen Matsuyama come down from +3500, and +2500 at other sportsbooks, I’m grabbing the +3100 while it lasts. 

PLAYERS Championship Top-20 Finish

Collin Morikawa @ -115 (Bet $115 to win $100)

While the +1600 odds are a bit too short for me in the outright market, I have to have at least some action on Morikawa this week. Looking over their past 36 rounds, Morikawa ranks inside the top 10 in SG: Approach, the most critical metric for success here at TPC Sawgrass. 

Additionally, Morikawa ranks #1 on Tour coming into this week in ball-striking, adjusted scoring, and par 4 scoring. As far as recent form goes, Morikawa’s limited action so far this season I think has him flying under the radar in terms of just how dominant he has been. In his five starts so far in the 2021-22 season, Morikawa has finished no lower than T7 and has four finishes of T5 or better. 

Though he has had just one official start here (last year), a 41st place finish included a 66 on Sunday which was the day’s lowest score. Having taken significant strides since then in his game, I like for Morikawa to be in contention come Sunday and land well within the top 20.

PLAYERS Championship Odds

GolferPLAYERS Championship Odds
Jon Rahm+1400
Justin Thomas+1400
Collin Morikawa+1600
Rory McIlroy+2000
Patrick Cantlay+2100
Viktor Hovland+2200
Scottie Scheffler+2800
Xander Schauffele+3000
Hideki Matsuyama+3100
Cam Smith+3400


Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.


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