By: Trey Roberts
The Players Championship is one of the most popular stops on the PGA Tour. This year marks the 40th year of The Players Championship, but a week prior, there were doubts that it was even going to be held. A Northeaster came through North East Florida and dumped 10 inches of rain on TPC Sawgrass a week prior to the tournament, leaving the course unplayable.
With the help of 2,200 volunteers and 10 water pumps, the course was revitalized in a matter of days. Monday’s practice round was cancelled due to the maintenance, but when the players practiced Tuesday, they couldn’t believe it even rained. TPC Sawgrass wouldn’t let a little rain stop them; The Players Championship was still on.
Roberto Castro was a first time player at The Players Championship and finished Day 1 in 1st place, tying the course record in the process with a 63 (-9). Unfortunately for Castro, that was the only time he was in the lead. By the end of Day 2, Sergio Garcia was in 1st place with -11 and Tiger Woods was at his heels with -10. Garcia and Woods are PGA Tour rivals; their rivalry has been publicized and their pairing for Day 3 looked to be very interesting. Woods tied up the scores during their round together (-11) and they both were in a 3 way tie for the lead with David Lingmerth. After Day 3, in post round interviews, Garcia took jabs at Woods saying, “I’m not going to lie…he’s not my favorite guy to play with. He’s not the nicest guy on tour.” Garcia also said, “We don’t enjoy each other’s company. You don’t have to be a rocket engineer to figure that out.” Woods and Garcia weren’t paired for the final round.
The final round of The Players Championship wasn’t a bright spot in Sergio Garcia’s career. Garcia scored a quadruple-bogey on hole 7 and again on 17 to knock himself back to finish 8th (-7) in the tournament. Tiger Woods showed the world why he is ranked #1 and went on to win his second Players Championship (becoming one of six players to win more than once) with a final score of -13. The Players Championship has the largest purse on the PGA Tour ($9.5 million), with the winner taking home $1.7 million.
Some other mentionable finishes are Rory McIlroy (T8th, -7), Bubba Watson (T37, -2), and Davis Love III (T48, E). Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, and Jim Furyk did not make the cut after day 2.