The PGA TOUR made its annual stop at Bay Hill Club & Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, and a great weekend of golf ended up with DraftKings’ own Bryson DeChambeau ($9,700; +1500) pulling out a one-stroke win over veteran Lee Westwood ($7,200; +10000). DeChambeau held on and played bogey-free over his final 17 holes to edge out Westwood while Corey Conners ($7,400; +8000) finished third and Andrew Putnam ($6,300; +20000), Richy Werenski ($6,400; +30000) and Jordan Spieth ($8,600; +3000) tied for fourth.
An emphatic reaction.@B_DeChambeau is a winner at Bay Hill. #QuickHits pic.twitter.com/sdohKTXTCB— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 7, 2021
The PGA TOUR continues its stay in the Sunshine State by heading two and a half hours northeast to TPC Sawgrass, the site of this week’s THE PLAYERS Championship. Whether you buy into its billing as “the fifth major championship” or not, there’s no arguing that this week’s event is a big tournament each year on the PGA TOUR. There will be an elite field teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., which has hosted the event every year since 1982. This event also marks the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown of the PGA TOUR, since last year’s event was canceled after just one round.
The stadium course at TPC Sawgrass is most well known for the famous island green on hole No. 17. The original course design by Pete and Alice Dye didn’t call for an island green, but they needed the sand surrounding the green for use on other parts of the course, creating the happy accident that has become one of the most recognizable holes anywhere on the PGA TOUR. Especially if the conditions are windy, the hole can play extremely difficult, but it isn’t the only difficult hole on the course. The course is also known for its narrow fairways, waste bunkers, pot bunkers and towering palm trees. The course is a great test that will require strong play throughout the bag for the pros. It features a great mix of short, medium and long holes with both right and left doglegs, and course routing set up so that no back-to-back holes play in the same direction. As is typical on a Dye-designed course, the greens are small and hard to hit, so players will have to showcase a good short game as well. Once they’re on the green, players will usually find hard and fast greens with contoured Bermuda surfaces.
Last season, Hideki Matsuyama ($8,700; +4000) was in the lead after Round 1, but the official defending champion this week is Rory McIlroy ($10,600; +1600), who won in 2019 by one stroke over Jim Furyk with Eddie Pepperell and Jhonattan Vegas ($6,300; +30000) tied for third. Rory will be joined in the field by nine other previous winners of THE PLAYERS, including Jason Day ($8,000; +5000), Webb Simpson ($9,500; +2200), Si Woo Kim ($7,200; +12500), Rickie Fowler ($7,400; +15000) and Matt Kuchar ($7,200; +20000).
An impressive 48 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are scheduled to tee it up this week, with Matthew Wolff and Brooks Koepka the only absences due to injury issues. It continues a run of great tournaments on the Florida Swing, which has featured many top international golfers who are starting their preparations for The Masters. Since 2000, more than half the winners at TPC Sawgrass have been international, including four of the last six champions. The PGA TOUR expanded the eligibility to include the top 125 Finishers from two seasons ago, resulting in 154 players scheduled to tee it up this week instead of the usual 144 participants.
The betting favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook is World No. 1 Dustin Johnson ($11,200; +1200). Collin Morikawa ($9,400; +2200) will be playing for the first time since winning the WGC-Workday against an elite field two weeks ago, and Max Homa ($7,600; +11000) will be looking to build on his win at The Genesis Invitational three weeks ago in the final event on the West Coast Swing. Other 2021 winners on the PGA TOUR in the field include DeChambeau, Kim, Harris English ($7,500; +11000), Kevin Na ($7,300; +10000), Patrick Reed ($9,000; +4000), and Daniel Berger ($8,800; +3300).
DraftKings is offering a number of ways you can get in on the golf action, starting with the PGA TOUR $2.5M Fantas Golf Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Entry]. Flex your golf knowledge and create a six-man lineup for the opportunity to turn $20 into a million dollars for a first-place finish while a total of $2.5M will be awarded in prizes. This contest is part of the DraftKings Championship Series — Fantasy Tournament of Champions. In addition to $1M, the winner will also earn a ticket to compete for another $1M top prize in January 2022. Check out the promotions page to learn more. There is also a Millionaire Bonus Blast running this week offering even more bonuses if you enter multiple lineups in the $2.5M Golf Millionaire contest on Thursday, March 11.
You can also bet on the tournament at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Scroll down for a full stream of picks and previews!
— Analysis by Zach Thompson
2021 THE PLAYERS Championship Playlist
2021 THE PLAYERS Championship Details
- Host Course: TPC Sawgrass
- Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FLA
- Par: 72
- Yardage: 7,189
- Greens: TifEagle bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis/velvet bentgrass
- Broadcast: Golf Channel, NBC
DraftKings Sportsbook Notable Odds To Win
- Dustin Johnson (+1200)
- Bryson DeChambeau (+1500)
- Rory McIlroy (+1400)
- Jon Rahm (+1600)
- Xander Schauffele (+2000)
- Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
- Tony Finau (+2200)
- Collin Morikawa (+2200)
- Webb Simpson (+2200)
- Justin Thomas (+2200)
- Viktor Hovland (+2800)
- Jordan Spieth (+3000)
- Daniel Berger (+3300)
- Tyrrell Hatton (+3500)
- Paul Casey (+4000)
- Hideki Matsuyama (+4000)
- Patrick Reed (+4000)
- Tommy Fleetwood (+4500)
- Jason Day (+5000)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (+5000)
- Scottie Scheffler (+5000)
- Cameron Smith (+5500)
- Sungjae Im (+5500)
- Jason Kokrak (+6600)
- Joaquin Niemann (+6600)
- Louis Oosthuizen (+6600)
- Will Zalatoris (+7000)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+7500)
- Abraham Ancer (+8000)
- Corey Conners (+8000)
- Sergio Garcia (+8000)
- Billy Horschel (+8000)
- Adam Scott (+8000)
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
For daily fantasy, head over to DraftKings or download the DraftKings app.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER(NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF(IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).
21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.