Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy lead Players Championship odds

Heather Diaz
March 14, 2019

Dustin Johnson, United States - DJ is rested coming off his victory in the WGC Mexico after also winning the Saudi International last month, and has regained the world No. 1 ranking. He doesn't have a great track record at TPC Sawgrass, but the changes at the tournament could turn the tides in his favor. "But it's not the best course for me".

"I'll be OK", Merritt said. "If this was a modern style golf course where every carry was 300 and things widened out, it would be frustrating for 40 percent of the field".

He had one more top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2004 as his game unravelled after his momentous win.

"As my neck got a little bit tighter", he said, "I didn't feel comfortable with my putting, but it was - my putting was uncomfortable going into that point".

Justin Thomas closely trails the favourites on this week's golf odds at +1600, ahead of Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler, who sit knotted at +2000, while two-time Players Championship victor Tiger Woods joins Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari at +2200.

"You can only swing or make the movement as good as your body's feeling, " Woods said. This golf course doesn't not allow that. And it's not enough to have just played at Sawgrass a few times.

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Eddie Jones' side are now a point behind Wales going into the weekend's action, with England able to win the Championship if Ireland beat the Welsh.

Unlike other professional sports leagues, such as the NFL and National Basketball Association, which have their own rules that differ from how the game is played at other levels, the various professional tours have always adhered to the Rules of Golf.

On paper, Rose would seem to match an identikit profile for a victor here. He ranks 7th in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green and 24th in Strokes Gained - Approach in 2019, and he's gained over a stroke on the field tee-to-green in five of six ShotLink measured tournaments on the season. Drill deeper into Rose's statistical performance though and numbers emerge that might explain his lack of success at TPC Sawgrass.

Of the last 20 PLAYERS Championship winners, 18 had a previous top-20 finish in the event. He is now T102 in that category, and T161 in Greens in Regulation. Has been hit-and-miss at TPC Sawgrass, with four top-10 results including ties for sixth in 2014 and 2017, but has missed the cut in his four other appearances in the Fifth Major, including past year.

Once again, the Northern Irishman was in the final pairing at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational. "It was just gradually getting worse. Lost in some of the discussion is all the things that are working really well". Some of that, he insisted, owes to a scheduled break.

After withdrawing from the tournament at Bay Hill last week, Day made a decision to spend time with his family at Disney World. "But the first week out is always a slight, are you going to be rusty or are you going to be fresh, ready to go". It wasn't fun. I couldn't make a backswing. Holmes and Justin Thomas, is at TPC Sawgrass and spent a few days with Woods last week when he practiced at home.

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