The Tour is heading to Florida to TPC Sawgrass for The PLAYERS Championship. It features one of the strongest fields in golf and will be played, as always, at one of the most iconic golf courses in the United States in TPC Sawgrass. It’s a Par 72 course that played right at 7,189 yards last year after a redesign. In 2017, TPC Sawgrass played as the 5th most difficult course on the PGA Tour (+1.291 Relative to Par).
The island green at the 17th hole is the most famous hole but, while it’s difficult, it isn’t the most difficult Par 3 on the course. That honor goes to the 8th hole which played as the 2nd most difficult Par 3 on Tour last year, with just 24 birdies out of the 440 times the hole was played. The Par 4 18th Hole was the second most difficult Par 4 on Tour. Sawgrass has some teeth, and the golf course can lead to some big number if players aren’t careful. Over 20% of holes played last year resulted in bogey or worse.
Past Five Winners
Off the Tee
When we take a look at numbers off the tee for the PLAYERS Championship, a couple of things become very apparent. First off, driving distance numbers across all categories are relatively flat. A difference of fewer than five yards between winners and players who miss the cut is nothing. That is shown in the correlation to DK Points as well, with distance explaining only 1% of the variance there. The winner here has averaged a rank of 30th in Driving Distance for the week. When we switch to accuracy, it’s a bit more correlated to DK Scoring (5%), but it’s not the be all end all this week. Of the driving stats, Strokes Gained: Off the Tee is the one you want to target this week, mainly because there are multiple ways to skin the cat here.
If you could only pick one stat per week, Strokes Gained: Approach would be the answer almost every time. This week, SG: Approach explains nearly 30% of DK Scoring. Of the 174 Top Ten finishers here since 2003, only 12 have lost strokes on approach. Golfers that have hit at least 70% of Greens in Regulation (50 Greens) average 77 DK Points and a finishing position of 20.6.
Around the Green
Nearly 80% of Top Ten finishers have gained strokes around the green at TPC Sawgrass. The field averages just 61.2% of greens in regulations hit which means that there will be plenty of times when the field will need to figure out how to get up and down.
Other Stats to Consider
Par 4 Scoring (450-500 Yards)
Approach (200+ Yards)
Approach (175-200 Yards)
3 Putt Avoidance
DraftKings Scoring Breakdown