Players Championship 2017 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
  Hideki Matsuyama (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Betfred
  Brooks Koepka (ew)Tournament Winner 40/1Stan James
Tommy Fleetwood (ew)Tournament Winner 100/1Stan James

Venue

The Players Championship 2017 will take place this week at The Stadium Course at Sawgrass, which has hosted this event since it was opened in 1982, having been specifically designed to favour no particular style of play. The 7,200 yard layout provides an array of different challenges and tests a wide range of skills. Careful positioning off the tee is a must, with wayward shots being heavily punished, most notably on the iconic “island green” 17th, which is surrounded by water. The course has been comprehensively remodelled since last year’s edition. The changes include the introduction of a new lake that comes in to play on both the 6th and 7th holes, while the par four 12th is now driveable, but carries significant risk as the fairway slopes right to left into a water hazard. No player has won here more than twice, with Tiger Woods the last man to win for a second time in 2013. Jason Day won here last year, with Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and Matt Kuchar among other recent champions. The field consists of 144 players, comprised mostly of the top 125 on last year’s FedEx Cup standings, plus any PGA Tour winners since last year’s edition. Only 41 players have played here in each of the last 5 years – with Aaron Baddeley having the dubious distinction of being the only man to have missed the cut in all 5.

Favourites

Dustin Johnson’s run of three successive victories came to an end at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, but only after his stunning drive through the field over the weekend has put him into a share of second place. The world number one is the market leader at Sawgrass and at best odds of 15/2 with Sky Bet, who are offering 7 places for each-way bets, he’s the only player available in single figures. Rory McIlroy posted three consecutive top 10s here between 2013 and 2015 and he is the second favourite at 12/1 with Coral, who are also offering 7 places, while Jordan Spieth, who has missed the cut in the last two years, is at 14/1 with Betfair – again with 7 places. Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who won this event in 2008 and was runner-up two years ago, can be backed at 20/1 with Betfred, who are offering Rickie Fowler at 22/1. Defending champion Jason Day is 20/1 with Paddy Power, who are offering 8 places each-way, and rising star Jon Rahm is 22/1 with Stan James and 7 places.

Tips

HIDEKI MATSUYAMAWorld number 10 HIDEKI MATSUYAMA has taken a little time off since finishing 11th at The Masters, perhaps conscious that his form had dipped a little since a sensational sequence of results around the turn of the year, when he won on four of six starts worldwide and was runner-up at the other two events. His results here have shown an upward trajectory – 23rd in 2014, 17th a year later and 7th last time around. Take 25/1 with 6 places at Betfred.

Brooks KoepkaBROOKS KOEPKA ran out of steam a little after finishing 2nd at the Shriners event and then winning in Japan late last year – but he’s been back with a bang on his last two starts, finishing 11th at Augusta before a runners-up finish at the Texas Open. The world no. 19 is more than capable of putting together a string of good results and he just looks to be getting in the groove. He’s at 40/1 with a number of firms, but Stan James are offering the 7 places.

Tommy FleetwoodOf the outsiders in the betting this week, TOMMY FLEETWOOD has the talent and the temperament to make an impact on his Sawgrass debut. The Englishman won in Abu Dhabi in January – and he has since been runner-up in both Mexico and Shenzhen. Having started the year just 100th in the rankings he is now the world number 28 and looks overpriced at 100/1 with Stan James, again with those 7 places for each-way bets on this tournament.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Hideki Matsuyama (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Betfred
Brooks Koepka (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Stan James
Tommy Fleetwood (ew)Tournament Winner100/1Stan James