Golfstradamaus: The Players Championship

This week the PGA Tour heads to the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., for The Players Championship. Lovingly known by pros and golf nerds alike as the “fifth major,” players don’t just want, most of them need to win in this tournament for their resumes. 

The Players is also a gambler’s paradise. The field at The Players is typically one of the strongest all year and thanks to that, a lot of players who are normally going off at 15/1, 20/1 and 25/1 are getting 40/1, 50/1 and even 100/1 money this week. 

So without further delay, here are your surefire, can’t-miss prophecies for The Players Championship. 

The Players Championship
TPC Sawgrass – Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
May 8 – 11, 2014

ODDS to Win:
Rory McIlroy 12/1
Adam Scott 15/1
Matt Kuchar 15/1
Justin Rose 20/1
Sergio Garcia 20/1
Luke Donald 20/1
Phil Mickelson 25/1
Jordan Spieth 25/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Bubba Watson 30/1
Lee Westwood 30/1
Jim Furyk 30/1
Zach Johnson 30/1
Keegan Bradley 40/1
Dustin Johnson 40/1
Charl Schwartzel 50/1
Rickie Fowler 50/1
Jimmy Walker 50/1
Graham DeLaet 50/1
J.B. Holmes 50/1
Harris English 50/1
Jason Dufner 50/1
Hunter Mahan 60/1
Graeme McDowell 40/1
Brandt Snedeker 50/1
Webb Simpson 60/1
Ian Poulter 40/1
Ryan Moore 60/1
Martin Laird 60/1
Kevin Na 80/1
Gary Woodland 80/1
Patrick Reed 80/1
Martin Kaymer 60/1
Louis Oosthuizen 80/1
Steve Stricker 80/1
Bill Haas 60/1
Brendon de Jonge 80/1
Kevin Streelman 80/1
Matt Every 80/1
Hideki Matsuyama 100/1
Jonas Blixt 100/1
Ryan Palmer 100/1
Jamie Donaldson 100/1
Freddie Jacobson 100/1
Chris Kirk 100/1
Seung-Yul Noh 100/1
Francesco Molinari 80/1
Kevin Stadler 125/1
Nick Watney 125/1
Field (all others) 13/4

Rory McIlroy
needs to add a Players Championship to his resume. All the greats have them and I think 2014 is the year he gets his. McIlroy is becoming very Tiger Woods-like in the sense that he gears up big time for big-time tournaments, almost always ending up in the hunt on Sunday at majors and marquee events. He’s installed as the favorite this week but is still paying 12/1 thanks to all the big names playing this week.


My next guy has had great success at TPC Sawgrass and is one of the best players in the game to never win a major. Sergio Garcia will be a popular pick this week and I’m not going to be the guy who doesn’t pick him if he can hold his game together on Sunday. He nearly won this event last year until a couple balls in the water at 17 on Sunday sunk his chances. Garcia has won this tournament before and at 20/1 this week, I don’t see why he can’t win it again. 


In his last 17 starts on tour, Jonas Blixt has only finished in the top five twice. There was a fourth place at the 2013 PGA Championship and a runner-up at this year’s Masters. My point here being that he may be playing mediocre golf overall, but the dude shows up on the big stage. He made his only start at the Players last year and finished a disappointing 77th, and this week he’s getting 100/1 money. Seriously? You can’t pass that up; (some of) my money this week is definitely going on the Swede. 

If there’s a guy out there who probably deserves to win this tournament it’s Jim Furyk. The 2003 U.S. Open champion has played some great golf as of late, finishing second last week at the Wells Fargo and rattling off five consecutive T-20 or better finishes. He’s finished T-25 or better in this event eight times and it’s about time that consistent good play pays off. At 30/1, picking him would pay off well for you, too.


Finally this week, I’ve got to go with Jordan Spieth. How many times do you see it happen? A young guy comes oh-so-close to winning his first major championship, struggles the following start or two, then comes back with a vengeance only Hans Gruber’s brother could imagine. Rory did it in 2011, winning the U.S. Open in a rout after shooting 80 on Sunday at Augusta. While this isn’t a major, a win here would be huge for Spieth for a number of reasons. All you need to know is that he’s getting 25/1 this week and that he probably won’t offer that big a ROI the rest of the year. 

Now, I know I’ve given you five names, but I’m going to give you six more. One of the beautiful things about the Players Championship, for degenerate wagerers like you and me, is that the field is so strong that guys who might be 12/1 favorites one week are paying 50/1 this week. Here are six other names worth betting on:

Graeme McDowell – 40/1
Dustin Johnson – 40/1 
Brandt Snedeker – 50/1
Jason Dufner – 50/1
Louis Oosthuizen – 80/1
Kevin Stadler – 125/1

Seriously, for the talent level of the guys listed above, it would behoove you to put anything on them. Even if you have to dig out the quarters between your car seats, DO IT! Do not let this gambler’s paradise pass you by. 

Until next time, kiddies…

– Golfstradamaus 

Past Prophecies: Golfstradamaus Archive

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