The Players Championship Tips & Predictions: Back Webb to make it number two at Sawgrass
Russell Palmer returns this week for the biggest tournament yet in 2021, The Players Championship from the iconic TPC Sawgrass with three more golf betting tips...
A year ago only the first round of The Players Championship was played before the tournament was cancelled due to COVID and the PGA Tour would take a break until June.
We return this week with 11/1 the field with some bookies paying 10 places and a real quality packed field.
TPC Sawgrass is iconic from a viewing perspective but it also gives us strong course form trends and all three of my selections this week have played well here in the past.
Dustin Johnson lines up as 11/1 favourite on a course he's yet to really dominate. The American was going off half that price a few weeks ago albeit in slightly weaker fields than this, but his fifth place finish two years ago is his best at the track.
Rory McIlroy (14/1) is second fav, winner here the last time all four rounds were completed in 2019 and three top-10 finishes in his last six tournaments.
Last week's winner Bryson DeChambeau is also available to back at 14/1 but he's yet to break the top twenty in his previous two visits to Sawgrass so I'm happy to overlook him and John Rahm who looks a big price at 16/1 but a 12th here two years ago is his best effort in three visits.
First up for me this week is Webb Simpson who I always think flies a little under the radar.
Winner here in 2018, he has two top-10s in his last three starts on the PGA Tour and comes here fresh having taken last week off.
The American's stats stack up nicely this week. He's not the longest but we've seen that isn't always needed at Sawgrass, himself a former winner alongside the likes of Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark and Fred Funk in the last 15 years.
He ranks 6th on the PGA Tour for scoring average and has been particularly good around the greens, T2 for scrambling and 12th for shots gained around the green whilst his putting stats always stack up.
Simpson also has good form at comparative courses in this part of the world. Winner at Harbour Town last year he has an excellent record and is another course designed by Pete Dye.
At 22/1 with William Hill going best price and nine places Simpson is an each-way play for me this week.
Second up this week is 40/1 chance Hideki Matsuyama.
The Japanese player has been consistent this year without really lighting it up and the flatstick continues to be his nemesis.
However, the 29 year old has two top ten finishes in his last four visits to Sawgrass and bar a missed cut in 2018, has never finished outside of the top 25.
He's gone 15th and 18th on his last two starts and seems to have been playing himself into a bit of form and I think his price of 40/1 with Bet365 paying eight places is too big.
This up this week is a bit of a flyer in the shape of Francesco Molinari.
The Italian let me down badly last week missing the cut at Bay Hill after I gave him the big build up but there's enough recent form and some good course form to suggest his price of 110/1 is too big.
He was sent off 30/1 last week and whilst it was a weaker field than we have here his week I think 110/1 is an over reaction.
Prior to the missed cut, Molinari had three top ten finishes in four starts on the PGA Tour as the Italian comes back from an extended break in 2020.
Add to this his course form which reads four top tens in nine visits to Sawgrass I'm happy to have him on my team at triple figure odds.
Best of the rest
I put up Tommy Fleetwood last week at 40/1 and he'd have placed were it not for a bad final round. Her can go well here with two top10's in his last two visits but he's around 40/1 again this week in a stronger field. I'd rather take Hideki at those kind of prices.
Jordan Spieth continues his comeback with another top 5 finish last week. His price as well looks a touch on the short side given he has a cluster of missed cuts here and with so much water in play errant drives will be punished.
At bigger odds I like Jonny Vegas to go well at 200/1. He's some excellent course form in the bag with two top tens and he was second in Puerto Rico a fortnight ago. Whilst Sergio Garcia is another at a big price given his record around Sawgrass.
As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly. I'm going to keep showing my record post lockdown for a few weeks until we have some 2021 results to show.
Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.
- Daniel Berger - Pebble Beach Pro-am - advised at 14/1
- Tyrrell Hatton - BMW PGA Championship - advised at 16/1
- John Catlin - Irish Open - advised at 40/1
- Jon Rahm - BMW Championship - advised at 14/1
- Dustin Johnson - Northern Trust - advised at 20/1
- Justin Thomas - WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 12/1
- Webb Simpson - RBC Heritage - advised at 30/1
- Colin Morikawa - T7 Sony Open In Hawaii - advised at 14/1
- Xander Schauffele - T5 Sentry Tournament of Champions - advised at 10/1
- Laurie Canter - 2nd Italian Open - advised at 45/1
- Kristoffer Ventura - T6 Sanderson Farms Championship - advised at 80/1
- Xander Schauffele - 5th US Open - advised at 16/1
- Kristoffer Ventura - T7 Safeway Open - advised at 80/1
- Laurie Canter - 2nd Portugal Masters - advised at 66/1
- Si Woo Kim - T3 Wyndham Championship - advised at 40/1
- Jason Day - T4 USPGA Championship - advised at 40/1
- Phil Mickelson - 2nd WGC FedEx St Jude - advised at 110/1
- Viktor Hovland - 3rd Workday Charity Open - advised at 25/1
- Kevin Streelman - T7 Workday Charity Open - advised at 60/1
- Tyrrell Hatton - T4 Rocket Mortgage Classic - advised at 16/1