Players Championship 2017 – Lederboard, Live Stream, Golf, 2017 TV coverage, Watch every moment of action
Players Championship 2017, Lederboard, Live Stream, Golf, 2017 TV coverage, Watch every moment of action The biggest post-Masters tournament and non-major event is here as the 2017 Players Championship rolls in with the best field of the calendar year.
A revamped TPC Sawgrass course is set for wall-to-wall coverage all weekend including every angle of every shot on the famous 17th island green hole.
This tournament has given us tremendous winners in each of the last five years (Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer, Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar), and you should expect nothing different this time around.
The Players Championship signifies many things on the PGA Tour, which is why it has grown into one of the biggest events of the year.
Since moving to its current May slot, The Players has ushered in the summer months with a fresh introduction to the busy major championship season. No slouch itself, the tournament is often referred to as the season’s “fifth major.”
Boasting the strongest field of the year, The Players should have every golf fan’s attention — even if they have been in hibernation since the Masters. The Players week is frequently one of the most exciting on the PGA Tour each year.
Players Championship odds, picks
There are a number of intriguing players headlining this week’s field, but Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Jon Rahm seem to be the most dangerous threats to win.
Johnson, surprisingly, has never recorded a top-25 finish here in eight attempts. That’s shocking considering his immense length off the tee should help him feast on TPC Sawgrass’ four short par 5s. Johnson has three wins and a runner-up finish in his last four starts. Something has to give this week.
Rahm, like Johnson, has been in contention seemingly every time he enters an event. The rookie has five top-five finishes this year, including a win at Torrey Pines. He is consistent tee-to-green, which is why he ranks 15th in bogey avoidance. Don’t be surprised if Rahm adds his second win of the season this week.
Fowler has peppered Players leaderboards since earning his Tour card. After winning here in dramatic fashion in 2015, he responded with a missed cut last year. That, however, was likely an anomaly as he had a rough stretch last summer. He is back in form this season with six straight top-16 finishes.
McIlroy and Spieth are both enigmas entering the week. Spieth has gone five starts without recording a top 10 following a win at Pebble Beach. He slid down the leaderboard at Augusta, and his driving accuracy is a concern here.
McIlroy, on the other hand, just flat out hasn’t played much this year.
With just five starts in 2017, McIlroy is going to have to rely on his practice form to guide him around the course. Four of his five starts have resulted in top 10s though, so at least he’s in good form.
No one cries sleeper more than Martin Kaymer. The two-time major winner, and former Players champion, is rarely talked about amongst the game’s top players. That is partly due to his propensity to disappear for long stretches, but Kaymer has been consistent in Europe over the last couple seasons. If his putter is working, he could rise to the top again this week.
Matt Kuchar, Justin Thomas and Tyrrell Hatton are also dangerous players that could prevail this week.
The Players Championship has carved out a unique identity as the premier championship on the PGA Tour. It’s on one of the more famous courses in the world, and this is the week we make our annual visit to TPC Sawgrass. Dustin Johnson is back following his mishap on the steps in Augusta. Rory McIlroy is back after getting married. Sergio Garcia is back after taking a month away with his new jacket.
The best in the world all show up for this championship, which boasts one of the richest purses in the game and its strongest field. SB Nation golf staffers Brendan Porath and Kyle Robbins hit some of the discussion points and make some predictions for this week at The Players.
Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world, are paired together for the first two days. Who has the better week?
Kyle Robbins: There’s no real point in debating it at this current moment: Dustin Johnson is the best player in golf right now, back injury or not. But if you’re thinking back, this time just last year we watched the no-doubt, best-player-in-the-world dominate Sawgrass — that was Jason Day. Golf is hard; maybe we should stop rushing these proclamations.
At nearly any other course, DJ and Rory might be your favorites. They likely will be at Erin Hills in one month. But this is Sawgrass — where the premium is on shotmaking, not bludgeoning the course with distance. It’s a test as mental as it is physical. Day overcame career struggles here to win by changing his approach tactically, often leaving the driver in his bag. Even with his dominance, I’m not sure I trust DJ to pull back the reins enough to win here. I think both stay in the Top 15 to 20, but I’ll guess Rory has a better shot to contend here.
Brendan Porath: With the Tiger era over, we all too often have what is, to me, this rather tedious debate about which player is “best at his best.” Some argue for Jordan Spieth. Some for Jason Day. Others for Dustin Johnson. And many for Rory McIlroy, who has as many major championships as those three combined.
It’s an unanswerable question that takes up a lot of media air time. We’ll never get a week where all the top players in the world are playing at their best. What is true, however, is that DJ has been the best player in the world — at his best, his close-to-best, his mediocre, his whatever — for almost a full year now. He became No. 1 in the world just this February, but no one has been doing it better on a weekly basis since his U.S. Open win last June. I expect him to be back again challenging for another win this week.
DJ came off that injury layoff from his Masters tumble down the stairs and immediately contended at the Wells Fargo last week. It was like nothing happened. Rory, meanwhile, got married, turned 28 years old, and signed a new equipment mega deal during his layoff since the Masters.
This is supposed to be a course where driving distance is mitigated — one of the few remaining on the PGA Tour and in professional golf. That’s a DJ and Rory strength, but I’d still be surprised if both are not in the hunt on Sunday afternoon. Rory seems ready for another top 10 (which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in contention), with DJ pushing for his fourth win in five starts. It’s hard to pick anyone, even Rory, to finish ahead of DJ these days.
Rounds 1-2 — Thursday and Friday
Rounds starts: 6:45 a.m.
Featured groups: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Featured holes (No. 17): 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Live TV coverage: 1-7 p.m. on Golf Channel
Round 3-4 — Saturday and Sunday
Round starts: 7 a.m.
Featured holes: 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Featured holes (No. 17): 12-7 p.m. — PGA Tour Live
Live TV coverage: 2-7 p.m. on NBC
Live simulcast: 2-7 p.m. on GolfChannel.com