Rose Can Put The Masters Behind Him In The Players Championship

Rose Can Put The Masters Behind Him In The Players Championship
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Rose Can Put The Masters Behind Him In The Players Championship


The Players Championship

Justin Rose has a game suited to the TPC at Sawgrass host course for this week’s Players Championship, which is known as the fifth major. Hideki Matsuyam has been knocking on the door in the four tournaments that matter most and he can take his game to a new level by being competitive in what is traditionally the strongest field of the year. Jim Furyk is not the force of old but can still make the payout places at a huge price.


The Players Championship

Hideki Matsuyama

The event has been played at the TPC at Sawgrass since 1982 so there is a massive history of course form to assess. Often the top 50 players in the world rankings compete and only injuries force players to withdraw. It is the most prestigious event in the world outside the major championships and it also provides a five-year exemption for the winner. The Players combines prize money and prestige and that is an attractive proposition for professional golfers.


The TPC at Sawgrass is a stadium course designed to be the permanent home of the Players Championship. With water in play on several holes and penal rough it rewards accuracy off the tee and especially the fairways as the greens are among the smallest on the tour. The weather can impact scores and any wind increases the degree of difficulty of a demanding course even in benign conditions. That is particularly relevant to the island green par 3 17th but the 18th is statistically usually the toughest.  Driving accuracy, greens in regulation and scrambling are the key skills for good scoring.


The Players Championship

That profile would accurately describe Furyk’s strengths and even though at this stage of his career winning may be beyond him he has the experience and attributes to finish high up the leader board and reward each-way backers. Furyk has the patience and temperament to maintain his form in extreme weather. He scored 59 on tour last season so is not quite a back number and is overpriced at 200/1 with some bookmakers.


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Our other picks come from the top end of the market and Rose looks well equipped to contend. The key battle could be mental as this is his first outing since losing the playoff in the US Masters to Sergio Garcia. That player is still probably on cloud nine and not fancied this week. Rose has a game suited to Sawgrass and proven at the highest level so he can get his season back on track by winning the Players Championship for the first time. He must also have a outstanding chance of winning the Open Championship Birkdale where he finished fourth as an amateur in 1998.


Matsuyama had a purple patch around the turn of the year and is now at a career high of number four in the world rankings. His form has dipped over the last month and he was never a factor at the Masters but he has a sound recent record at the highest level.  Matsuyama scores highly for the three key skills and that makes him a leading contender for the “Fifth Major” which Rose is the headline tip to win.


Selections: Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama and Jim Furyk.      

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