This week the PGA tour heads to TPC Sawgrass, Florida to tee it up at the Players Championship. Home of the arguably the 3 most exciting finishing holes in golf, and arguably the single most exciting, the island hole 17th. They do not call this tournament “the 5th major” for nothing. The Players championship is a crown jewel of the PGA tour. The world’s best golfers are on a course that demands the highest level of shot-making and offers an unbelievable fan experience. It’s also the highest purse in golf with the champion taking home $1.71 million at the end of the week.
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Here are some predictions, and some golfers you should stay away from betting this week at the Players.
Golfers to AVOID Betting This Weekend at the Players Championship:
Henrik Stenston +4500 – Although Henrik is a brilliant player, and won comfortably here last here, his game is not at the level he wants it to be. I could see Henrik squeaking into the top 10 but I would definitely avoid picking him to win outright at TPC. It doesn’t help Henrik’s cause that no player has ever won back to back Players Championships.
Tiger Woods +750 – With Tiger still having great odds, despite brutally missing a cut last week at the Quai Hollow, I would definitely stay away from Eldrick this week at the Players. Although I believe Tiger will rebound and could have a Top 10 finish, he is still not in form to contend with the best.
Ernie Els +2500 – With the TPC Championship course demanding straight accurate tee-balls I would have to stay away from Ernie this week. Although the sweet swinging European has had a great start to the 2010 season, if you don’t find the fairway with the big-stick here in Florida, you will not win. Look for Ernie to have a top 25 finish.
Top 5 Players Championship Betting Predictions:
Phil Mickelson +800 – How can you possibly avoid “lefty” Phil Mickelson? Coming off a green jacket at Augusta and a 2nd place finish at the Quai Hollow championship, Phil has finally got in a grove. It seems with his wife continuing to get healthier and his game clicking, “lefty’s” head is definitely in the right spot. Also, with a win this week, and Tiger finishing outside the Top 5, Phil can become the top-ranked golfer in the world. I’d say that’s pretty good motivation.
Ian Poulter +2500 – Poulter is off to a very solid start to the 2010 season, with his most recent tournament a T10 finish at Augusta, Poulter should be well rested and ready to go. It also doesn’t hurt that Poulter was a runner-up here last year to Henrik Stenson. Look for Ian to be in contention Sunday afternoon.
Padrig Harrington +2500 – Padrig is also off to a steady start to the 2010 season with 3 top 10’s in 9 starts. You just always get the gut feeling that Padrig is going to be in the hunt, even if his game is not quite where he wants it to be. This guy battles week in and week out and is a 3 time major champion, so he definitely elevates his game in big stages. It also helps that Padrig has a solid track record here at TPC with back to back runner up finishes in 03 and 04. Look for Paddy to be there Sunday afternoon.
Lee Westwood +2500 – Lee Westwood, arguably the best player in the world without a major, is back in America this week for the players. His last three finishes on the PGA tour include a T9 at the Honda Classic, a T8 at the Shell Houston Open and a 2nd place finish at the Masters. This guy is so close to being an elite player, if he continues to put himself in contention he will get that major, I think winning the players would be a great step for Lee. Look for Lee to be in contention Sunday especially the way he strokes the putter.
Jim Furyk +2000 – Jim is playing arguably the best golf of his career right now. Although he blew up at the Masters with a miss cut, the competitive Furyk rebounded the week after at Hilton Head with a win in a playoff. Last week at the Quail Hollow Jim had another strong performance with a T7. I don’t know if anyone on tour is in more control of their game then Jim Furyk, and with Jimmy’s accurate tee ball definitely look out for him on Sunday.