Tournament: The Players Championship
Course: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Prize Fund: $8,000,000
Course Details: Par 72, 7,124 yards. The Stadium Course at Sawgrass becomes an amphitheatre when the crowds arrive. Pete Dye designed the course with an emphasis on drama. It is home to the PGA Tour’s headquarters and this, their flagship event. The course favours neither long nor short hitters, previous winners have included both Tiger Woods and Fred Funk. The course will be an even tougher test this year, tees, fairways and greens have been rebuilt to create firm and fast conditions.
Key Hole: The par 3 17th at Sawgrass is one of golf?s signature holes. The occasion can become an overwhelming one as players prepare to hit a 137-yard iron to the ?Island Green?. The fact that golf?s biggest purse may be lost along with the player’s ball adds to the tension. Caddies can?t relax either as club selection becomes that bit harder when the wind swirls. It is estimated that 120,000 golf balls make a splash at the 17th every year.
The Lowdown: The in form Tiger Woods, after his win last week, is certainly the best equipped to deal with the pressure of the huge crowds and army of cameramen, while Jim Furyk is renowned for the type of target golf the course demands. The faster greens will suit South African Retief Goosen who won the 2004 U.S. Open under similar conditions.
Contenders: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen.
Betting Guide: For betting tips from our expert Paul Krishnamurty click here