The past two years haven't been the best from an entertainment spectacle

TAGS:

Players Championship Needs Big Week To Justify 5th Major Tag

The Players Championship returns this week back in its old March spot and, just with every Players Championship week, the question as to whether golf needs a fifth Major is asked.

The answers are the same every year –

  • No it doesn’t
  • The Players should become a Major
  • The women’s game has five so the men’s should have five too
  • It’s basically a Major already so who cares
  • If golf were to have a fifth Major it should be outside of the USA

The tournament, for viewers, probably is the best and biggest outside of the four Majors when you think about the field, the course and the memories.

There’s no other event outside of golf’s big four that consistently has one of the strongest fields in the the world and is played over a course that is instantly recognisable.

However, the event seems to have lost some momentum in the past two years after a runaway victory for Webb Simpson last year and a three-stroke win for Si Woo Kim two years ago.

Simpson could afford to double-bogey the 18th last year and still win by four, whilst the most exciting part of the 2017 tournament was seeing if Ian Poulter could finish T2nd with Louis Oosthuizen, which he did despite a shank on the 72nd hole.

It was a classy showing from Si-Woo Kim in 2017, who won with ease

Put simply, the past two playings, come Sunday evening prime time in the UK, have been dull affairs and I would bet that everyone reading this would struggle to remember a shot from either Simpson or Kim from 2018 and 2017.

I’m not bashing the tournament, it’s a superb event and it is already basically a Major with the money involved, FedEx Cup points and world ranking points, but the PGA Tour needs its stars to turn up this week if it wants to keep banging the 5th Major drum.

The highest world top-5 players last year were Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose in T17 and T23 eight and nine back of Simpson. Two years ago the highest world top-10 finisher was Dustin Johnson in T12, eight back of Si Woo Kim.

There is plenty of reason to be positive with Rory McIlroy in great form, along with Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele and the returning Tiger Woods all in the field.

The tournament can, of course, be entertaining without the biggest names up near the top of the leaderboard but these past two years haven’t been good enough from an entertainment spectacle to claim a seat at golf’s top table.

Should the Players become a Major? Let us know your thoughts on our social media channels.

Where the Players stands in the Major league table:

As it stands, the men’s game has four Majors run by Augusta National, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A, so an organisation as large and prolific in the game as the PGA Tour has a right to call for its flagship event to be a Major.

Should it be a Major? Perhaps it should officially become one, because it kind of already is.

The new golfing schedule sees the bulk of the year broken up into six chunks and the Players is certainly one of those chunks on its own.

  • Players Championship
  • Masters
  • US Open
  • Open
  • FedEx Cup Playoffs
  • European Tour season finale

How the Players compares to the Majors –

Players

FedEx Cup points: 600 (PGA Tour events are 500, WGCs 550)
Purse 2019: $12.5m (Largest in golf, increased on last year which was $11m)
Winner’s cheque 2018: $1.98m

Masters

FedEx Cup points: 600
Purse 2018: $11m
Winner’s cheque 2018: $1.98m

USPGA

FedEx Cup points: 600
Purse 2018: $11m
Winner’s cheque 2018: $1.98m

US Open

FedEx Cup points: 600
Purse 2018: $12m
Winner’s cheque 2018: $2.16m

Open

FedEx Cup points: 600
Purse 2018: $10.5m
Winner’s cheque 2018: $1.89m

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels