TPC Sawgrass 2018 Players Championship - Predictions & Picks

Who will win the 2018 Players Championship? This is the PGA Tour's flagship event and is considered by many to be an unofficial fifth major. Our research staff offers previews and predictions. The 2018 Players Championship is scheduled for May 10-13 at TPC Sawgrass.


The Favorites

Justin Thomas
Best Result: T3 (2016)
SG Tee to Green: 5th
Outlook: The TPC Sawgrass favors great tee-to-green players; Thomas happens to be one of the best. Unsurprisingly, he finished T24 and T3 in his first two starts here. The current Fedex Cup leader is enjoying marvelous form at the moment with a T22 or better in his last 13 PGA Tour starts. It would be a mistake to leave him out of your fantasy roster this week.

Jason Day
Best Result: Win (2016)
SG Tee to Green: 44th
Outlook: 2018 has been a return to form for the former champion. The Australian star has already won twice this year including last week's Wells Fargo Championship. More importantly, the wins came on Torrey Pines and Quail Hollow -- both of which are major-caliber golf courses. If Day continues to putt light out, he will be tough to beat.

Dustin Johnson
Best Result: T12 (2017)
SG Tee to Green: 1st
Outlook: The world no. 1 player is a top favorite to win The Players and it is for a good reason. Along with Rory McIlroy, Johnson is the most talented player since Tiger Woods. A player with this kind of power is capable of dominating any golf course he plays. Although Johnson's record at TPC Sawgrass is surprisingly poor, he remains a big threat nonetheless.

The Contenders

Sergio Garcia
Best Result: Win (2008)
SG Tee to Green: 3rd
Outlook: By his own admission, Garcia has not played well since winning the 2017 Masters. His disastrous performance at this year's Masters is proof positive of his decline. However, Garcia is one of the most successful players at TPC Sawgrass with a win and countless top finishes. The Spaniard's strong tee-to-green game and fabulous iron play make him a perfect fit for the Pete Dye's design. Moreover, he has shown some recovery of form of late. He won in Singapore earlier this year and notched top-10s at the two recent WGCs.

Rickie Fowler
Best Result: Win (2015)
SG Tee to Green: 26th
Outlook: The former Players champion is enjoying another strong season on tour. Fowler finished runner-up at the Masters and had five other top-25s this season. The Puma star has earned a reputation as a strong performer on major-caliber courses, with eight top-5s at the majors. He has not been able to capitalize on his opportunities as much as he would like, but similar to Phil Mickelson who won his first major in his thirties, Fowler will likely win a big one someday. In the meantime, he will be a major contender this week to add a second Players title to his resume.

Rory McIlroy
Best Result: T6 (2014)
SG Tee to Green: 35th
Outlook: Thomas, Day and Tiger Woods may garner all the attention, but it will be a mistake to overlook a great talent like McIlroy. His powerful game is a good fit for a lot of courses including TPC Sawgrass. Since fully committed to playing The Players in 2013, he has recorded several top 15s. McIlroy is fresh from a top-5 finish at the Masters and a win at Bay Hill. He will most definitely be a factor come Sunday afternoon.

Players to Watch

Jon Rahm
Best Result: T72
SG Tee to Green: 36th
Outlook: Rahm's sophomore season has been as good as his rookie year. He already has two worldwide wins and was T4 at the Masters (his first top 10 at a major). Generally speaking, Rahm's game does not match well with this golf course. Tee-to-green specialists tend to perform better here than the big bombers.

Jordan Spieth
Best Result: T4 (2014)
SG Tee to Green: 2nd
Outlook: Spieth's game is made for high-caliber golf courses. The two-time major winner likes to plot his way around the course and is a clutch putter. However, TPC Sawgrass puts a premium on tee to green which plays against Spieth's strength. Although he earned a T4 on his debut, he has yet to make a cut since. The good news is that he ranks second in SG Tee to Green this season. The bad news is there are many great tee-to-green players who are playing better than him at the moment.

Matt Kuchar
Best Result: Win (2012)
SG Tee to Green: 105th
Outlook: Kuchar is one of those players with a consistently strong record at TPC Sawgrass. However, his tee-to-green game has not been up to standards this year. His knowledge of the course will propel him to do well, but Kuchar needs to improve upon his tee-to-green if he wants to win.

Dark Horses

Hideki Matsuyama
Best Result: T7 (2016)
SG Tee to Green: 16th
Outlook: Normally, Matsuyama would be mentioned among the contenders for the title due to his impeccable tee-to-green game. However, the five-time PGA Tour winner has not been the same since withdrawing from Phoenix due to a wrist injury. He finished 19th at the Masters, which is mediocre considering his great record there, and failed to advance to the final round at Quail Hollow. Actually, he had a good excuse because his wisdom teeth was removed prior to Wells Fargo. But his game is still in state of flux. Yet, it does not take much for a world-class player to find his game again. If he does, he would definitely be among those contending for this title.

Luke List
Best Result: MC
SG Tee to Green: 4th
Outlook: After a strange 2017 campaign in which List alternated solid performances with missed cuts, he has finally found some consistency playing the weekend in 9 of his last 10 starts. He's still hitting a long way but has been finding more fairways and greens than ever before. List is currently 4th in SG Tee-to-Green! With some good fortunes, he might be able to contend for the title.

🏆Final Result

Webb Simpson (-18) wins 2018 Players Championship

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