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Brian Kirschner previews the upcoming PLAYERS Championship and makes predictions and picks. The PGA expert also gives his perspective on the odds board and the two golfers he's targeting. Let's get into it!
ANALYSIS

The PLAYERS Championship Picks and Predictions: Look for Jason Day and Keegan Bradley to Find Success

The PGA Tour is heading to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, for The PLAYERS Championship! Before the tour was playing for 20 Million dollars every week, this event was the original designated/elevated event on the PGA Tour. I have to be honest; given the new PGA Tour schedule, I feel as though the allure of this event has lost its shine. The field is exactly the same as the past designated event, and the total purse is just 5 million higher than we have seen.

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The PLAYERS Championship Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date - Thursday, March 9th - Sunday, March 12th, 2023
  • Opening Tee Time - 6:45 a.m. ET - 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Where - TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Where to Watch - ESPN+, Golf Channel, NBC

Click here for the PLAYERS Championship odds

The PLAYERS Championship Prediction

However, what makes me so excited about this event is the course; TPC Sawgrass is one of the most exciting, unique, and entering courses on the PGA Tour. Famous for its closing stretch of 16, 17, and 18, this event seems to always deliver. Pete Dye’s work really shines this week, as this is anything but your typical PGA Tour event. Tight fairways, small greens, numerous bunkers, and water hazard’s everywhere. All this mixed with one of the most demanding and nerve-ranking ending three-hole stretches that make even the best golfers in the world crumble.

This event has also produced one of the most outstanding winners' circles. Anyone who is anyone has lifted The PLAYERS famous trophy at one point or another. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, and Adam Scott are all PLAYERS Champions. Reading through this list, it also shows that there is not one type of golfer that wins here. Every single playing style can win at Sawgrass. Bombers, short and accurate guys, great wedge players, great putters, poor putters, elite talent, and complete long shots have all won here.

This is also an event where we have seen elite talent completely eject and miss the cut. You will hear this all week; this is an extremely volatile event. No one is a “lock” to make the cut or finish the top 40, and to be honest, that's what makes this a great event. This is not a U.S. Open where Rory, Rahm, and Scottie are going to be there on Sunday. In my opinion, over 50% of the field can win this week. I really do believe that most golfers under 150/1 can win. We have seen multiple longshot winners of this event over the past ten years; Si Woo Kim, Webb Simpson, and Martin Kayer have all delivered at long odds.

As for the course, TPC Sawgrass is a 7,200-yard par 72 that features Bermuda Grass greens with Poa overseed. There is water in play on 16 out of the 18 holes. The course also features 88 bunkers. With the water, it is no surprise that TPC Sawgrass has one of the highest penalty stroke % on tour. The fairways are also the 16th narrowest on tour.

Key Stats for the week:

-Driving Accuracy / Good Drives Gained -SG: APP -Opportunities Gained -SG: ARG -Bogey Avoidance -SG: Putting (Bermuda) -Course History

Let's get into my favorite outright selections for The PLAYERS Championship.

The PLAYERS Championship Picks

Jason Day (+3600) Bet $100 to collect $3,700 Get the best odds at FanDuel; click here to bet

Another week, another top 10 finish on the PGA Tour for 2016 PLAYERS Champion Jason Day. I said on my podcast that if you bet Jason Day at Bay Hill last week, you should bet him again at the PLAYERS. I am going to take my own advice and bet Day at more than a fair number, in my opinion. Although the OWGR might not reflect this, in my opinion, Day has been playing like a top 20 player in the world.

Day now has four top-10 finishes in a row on the PGA Tour, and all in great fields on different golf courses. Torrey Pines, TPC Scottsdale, Riviera, and Bay Hill. Jason Day’s game is seemingly traveling wherever he goes.

A strong putter and the ARG game, coupled with an elite driver, again anchored Day’s game. Over the past 24 rounds, Day ranks ninth in SG: OTT, fifth in SG: Short game, and first in SG: Putting.

This Australian has also had continued success at TPC Sawgrass since his victory in 2016. Jason has finished top 10 in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019. If not for a horrendous putter in 2021, Day would have firmly been in the mix as he ranked third in SG: T2G. Jason is going to win soon, and there is no better spot for him to break through than at the PLAYERS.

Keegan Bradley (+5000) Bet $100 to collect $5,100 Get the best odds at DraftKings; click here to bet

I rarely feel this good about an outright selection on Sunday night as I do this week about Keegan Bradley this week. However, I seriously think Keegan has an excellent chance to contend this week in Ponte Vedra Beach. This Major champion and 5-time PGA Tour winner is in red hot form and is headed to a course and event that he has loved.

In its simplest form, a lot of time, golf betting comes down to matching recent form with course history. The equation equals Keegan Bradley this week. Coming off a Top 10 finish at Bay Hill in which he gained 6.6 strokes ball striking and two strokes putting, Keegan’s game is in great form. Keegan also had a runner-up finish in 2023 at Torrey Pines and was a winner in the fall at the ZOZO.

As for his affinity for this event, Keegan is one of only nine golfers to have multiple top-10 finishes at this event over the past five years. Bradley finished T5 at this event last year and led the field in SG: Tee to Green. Unfortunately, his putter let him down. The good news for us is that Keegan has become a much-improved putter over the past year. Keegan has gained over two strokes putting in seven events since last year's PLAYERS, and has led the field in putting twice! This would not have been expected a few years ago.

Keegan has always hit the ball great here. In his last four starts at TPC Sawgrass, he has gained 4.6, 2.2, 8.3, and 6.5 strokes on approach. This elite iron play is going to lead him to a top finish this week at The PLAYERS Championship this week. Are you already signed up at DraftKings and FanDuel? What to try a new sportsbook? Click "CLAIM NOW" on the amazing offer below to lock in bets on the PGA!

Article Author

Golf

Brian Kirschner is the host of the Tap in Birdie Podcast and is a golf betting content creator from Long Island. Every week Brian has prominent guests in the industry come on his podcast and break down the upcoming PGA Tour event from a betting/DFS perspective. Brian loves nothing more than sweating first round leader and outrights bets.

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