The richest PGA Tour event annually is not one of the four major championships or the World Golf Championships but the Players Championship, which this year has a purse of $20 million. The “fifth major” tees off Thursday from TPC Sawgrass outside Jacksonville, Florida.
Ahead of this year’s Players, the PGA Tour increased the overall purse by 33 percent to $20 million while handing out to the winner a first-place prize of $3.6 million. A player could finish 25th or better this week and make more money in one tournament than Arnold Palmer made in his winningest single season on the PGA Tour ($162,896 in 1971).
This is the best field of the season so far with 47 of the world’s Top 50 set to play, although Bryson DeChambeau, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods aren’t. Tiger won this event in 2001 and 2013 but is still out injured – he was on hand Wednesday, though, to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Mickelson is taking time away after his massive PR mistake with the rumored Saudi League. He won here in 2007. This will be the first Players since 1994 without either Woods or Mickelson.
DeChambeau is battling wrist trouble — just last week, DeChambeau stated that he was 90% ready and attempting to get fully healthy to play at TPC Sawgrass but apparently not: “I just feel like it’s too short a time for me to get back 100%, playing at 100% capacity. Right now, I’m like 90%. I just don’t want to go out there and hurt myself even more and not be 100% ready for the rest of the season. I don’t want to come back early and have to take more time off. It’s a hard decision I have to make right now, but I’m going to have to unfortunately not play this week.”
Eight previous Players champions and eight FedExCup champions are in the field. Among the handful of golfers set to make their Players Championship debuts is Stephan Jaeger, who was the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year.
TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course is a par 72 measuring 7,255 yards and of course has the signature par-3 17th island green. It is expected to rain through Saturday and cold air and wind are on the way. By Saturday, temperatures will be in the low-50s with wind gusts of up to 25 mph.
We’ve listed starting golf odds and an odds analysis of the top choices at the 2022 Players Championship. Will Justin Thomas retain the title? Keep reading to find out.
2022 Players Championship Tournament Info
And so it begins. pic.twitter.com/H1t5gjRKD5— THE PLAYERS (@THEPLAYERSChamp) March 10, 2022
- When: Thursday, Mar. 10 – Sunday, Mar. 13
- Where: THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
- TV: Golf Channel
- Live Stream: GolfChannel.com
- Purse: $20,000,000
- Defending Champ: Justin Thomas
- Collin Morikawa +1100
- Justin Thomas +1300
- Jon Rahm +1300
- Viktor Hovland +1700
- Rory McIlroy +1900
- Patrick Cantlay +2400
- Scottie Scheffler +2400
- Xander Schauffele +2800
- Hideki Matsuyama +3100
- Cameron Smith +3400
- Dustin Johnson +3400
- Daniel Berger +3400
Odds to Win the 2022 Players Championship
Who are the top betting picks to win the 2022 Players Championship?
World No. 1 Jon Rahm and defending champion Justin Thomas are both +1300 favorites to win. There are several scenarios that could see Rahm lose the top ranking with one of Scottie Scheffler, Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa waiting to take his place. Rahm has made all six cuts in 2022 and is 4-for-4 at TPC Sawgrass with a personal-best T9 last year.
Thomas won last year at 14-under 274, one shot up on Lee Westwood. Thomas shot a combined 12-under 132 on the weekend, the lowest in Players Championship history. He accomplished the feat with relatively poor putting on Sunday, losing more than two strokes to the field for the round. However, Thomas gained 5.6 shots on the field from tee to green during the final round as he missed just one green in regulation. Amazingly, no player has repeated in this tournament.
Morikawa is a +1100 favorite and one of the best ball-strikers on Tour who is always in the mix at big-time events. Morikawa, who is only making his second appearance at TPC Sawgrass leads the Tour in shots gained: total, is sixth tee-to-green, fourth on approach, eighth off the tee and fourth in putting. In the last 19 months, Morikawa has won the PGA Championship, Open Championship, WGC-Workday Championship and finished 4th in the U.S. Open.
Rory McIlroy won here in 2019 at 16-under 272. He missed the cut by 10 shots last year, but it was on the tail end of four straight weeks on the road. McIlroy is off to a strong start in 2022: T-12/T-3 in the Middle East, a T-10 at the Genesis Invitational and contending last week at Bay Hill.
Which player from +2000 to +2800 odds can win the trophy?
Scheffler has momentum following his at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, and he can displace Rahm if he follows that up with another win, Rahm finishes lower than outright 10th and Morikawa fares worse than a three-way tie for second. Cantlay has been great this season, as he’s finished outside the top 10 in just one of his five starts so far. Scheffler and Cantlay are both +2400 this week.
2022 Players Championship Expert Pick
Collin Morikawa at +1100.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.