When is it?
8th - 13th March 2022
Where is it?
TPC Sawgrass, 110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, USA
TPC Sawgrass is the result of PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman's dream for the perfect golfing championship venue, combined with legendary golf course architect Pete Dye. A balanced golf course that doesn't suit any particular playing style, with a mixture of short, medium and long holes, left and right doglegs, and a fair mix of par 3's, 4's and 5's. A unique feature of having no consecutive holes travelling in the same direction also adds to the spectacle by ensuring that wind direction will have a more balanced effect on the playing field.
Beman and Dye's vision was one of the first to consider both players of the sport and its spectators alike. Key areas around the 1st and 10th tees, along with the 9th, 16th, 17th and 18th greens, were strategically designated as hotspots for viewing areas to be built, allowing unobstructed views and a stadium atmosphere feel.
This key element bore fruit to what is now one of the most famous par 3 holes worldwide, the island 17th green. Initially designed by accident, having all the surrounding sand dug from the area to be used elsewhere on the course, the idea for an island green came from Alice Dye, wife of Pete.
This amphitheatre now sees thousands of fans gather to watch the world's best golfers test their mettle at one of the most intimidating holes in golf. Measuring at only 137 yards from tee to green, and with a relatively large green, the hole is nothing more than a wedge for the top professionals. However, being ominously surrounded by water and with nothing but green and a tiny bunker as a landing zone, the nerves are always rattling.
2021 saw a return to the event following a year out due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Justin Thomas put a poor start of the year behind him, rallying to come from three shots behind and shoot a final round 68 (-4) to win by one over second place finisher Lee Westwood, who's 18th hole birdie wasn't enough to force a playoff.
JUSTIN THOMAS: “Any time you’re here at THE PLAYERS, it’s a big deal. It’s obviously a huge event...It’s such a huge event everybody knows it’s a huge event, everybody knows it’s a major, it’s, I don’t think can you go wrong calling it one or not calling it one, THE PLAYERS is THE PLAYERS.”
Thomas's victory saw him become only the fourth person to win a major, THE PLAYERS Championship, the FedEx Cup and a World Golf Championship. Birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie from holes 9 through 12 saw Thomas take his one shot lead and hold onto it for his 14th PGA Tour victory.
In 2019 the PGA Tour underwent a diary change to realign the golf season, moving the event back to its original March date. This move has proven to toughen up the scoring, with the average winning score being 0.7 strokes higher versus when the event was held in May (PGA Tour, 2022).
The event will see all of the world's top 10 ranked players, including 47 of the top 50, teeing it up on Thursday. The notable absentees will be Bryson DeChambeau and Harris English through injury, whilst Phil Mickleson is continuing his break from the sport following his controversial comments on the proposed Saudi Golf Super League.
Justin Thomas will be looking to become the first ever person to defend their title in this weekend's event, whilst the likes of world number one Jon Rahm and big household names such as Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth to name just a few will be chomping at the bit to take his crown and a piece of the $20 million purse.
Where To Watch?
Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen (12:29pm GMT)
Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm (12:51pm GMT)
Jordan Spieth, Daniel Berger, Dustin Johnson (5:35pm GMT)
Scottie Scheffler, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele (5:45pm GMT)
Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas (5:56pm GMT)
Click HERE for live leaderboard and full scoring.