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The Players Championship 2015 Tips

SkySports4 Thu 7th – Sun 10th May / 6pm

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Jim Furyk (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Bet365
Ryan Moore (ew)Tournament Winner100/1William Hill
Zach Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner66/1Coral, Ladbrokes

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are the star attractions at the Players Championship at Sawgrass, where Germany’s Martin Kaymer is the unfancied defending champion having earned a surprise victory 12 months ago. The tournament is live on Sky Sports, with coverage beginning at 6pm Thursday.

The sport’s two leading players dominate the betting and are both available at single figures, with the rest of the 144-man field priced at 22/1 or above. Lurking among them is Tiger Woods, who claimed his second title at Sawgrass in 2013, who will appeal to many at 40/1 with Bet365 following his better-than-expected showing at the Masters last month (plus Bet365 are offering 6 places for each-way bets).

Spieth of course won that tournament to send his global reputation soaring and his price for the big events – this is known as the unofficial ‘fifth major’ – will be short for the foreseeable future. He is no better than 8/1 (William Hill, Betfred, BetVictor) here, having finished in the top five last year.

McIlroy finished a shot back from Spieth a year ago and having won the WGC Cadillac Match Play at the weekend he will be full of confidence. Every single firm is offering him at 7/1 but if you’re patient you will probably find that at least one bookmaker pushes him out to 8s on Thursday morning.

Sawgrass is renowned for providing one of golf’s toughest tests with the 7,215-yard layout rewarding accuracy from the tee and it’s no surprise that the likes of Matt Kuchar and Tim Clark, among the most dependable drivers, are former winners.

Henrik Stenson definitely fits into that category and the big Swede, who enjoyed an excellent run of results in March, was fifth here a couple of years back. He’ll attract plenty of interest at best odds of 22/1 with Coral.

So too will Justin Rose, a 22/1 chance with Bet365. The Englishman is as smooth off the tee as it gets and boasts a victory at the Zurich Classic a fortnight ago. Rose was fourth here last year, but failed to make an impression in a decade of previous visits to this venue.

You won’t find many more reliable drivers than Jim Furyk, the world number five who is in a rich vein of form. Currently fourth in the stats for driving accuracy, Furyk won the RBC Heritage last month before reaching the semi-finals of the Match Play. He’s been coming here for 20 years and has four top five finishes to his credit, including as runner-up last year.

Ryan Moore is another who shows up well on the driving stats and he too is in good form, despite an early exit from last week’s Match Play. Prior to that he was 12th at the Masters and 5th at the Valspar Championship and he has the game to go well again this week. At a big price of 100/1 with William Hill, he’s a good each-way pick.

Zach Johnson’s form has been mixed this season, with a scattering of missed cuts alongside a number of top 10 finishes, including a ninth place at Augusta. He certainly has the tools to go well at Sawgrass. In the last six years he has been no worse than 32nd, including a runners-up spot three years ago.

Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, is proving popular in the early betting but you can still get odds of 66/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral, which is clear each-way value.

So what of Woods? He is not known for driving it straight and true, but in this tremendously difficult tournament he is one of only a handful of two-time winners and he is the only one in this field. BetVictor‘s price of 7/2 for him to finish in the top 10 is a tempter.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Jim Furyk (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Bet365
Ryan Moore (ew)Tournament Winner100/1William Hill
Zach Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner66/1Coral, Ladbrokes