Players Championship Notes - 2013
Players Championshp Notes 2013
Dates: May 6-12, 2013
Where: THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Par/Yards: 72/7,215 yards
2012 champion: Matt Kuchar
2013 Purse: $9,500,000/$1,710,000
FedExCup: 600 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play, Field: 145
A look back at THE PLAYERS 2012 2012 Final-Round Leaderboard
Matt Kuchar held off a host of contenders by shooting a final-round 70 for a two-stroke win, his fourth PGA TOUR victory. A former resident of Ponte Vedra whose parents still live nearby, Kuchar’s Mother’s Day triumph was especially gratifying by having his parents, his wife and his children on hand. In February, Kuchar broke a recent streak by PLAYERS champions by winning the Accenture Match Play Championship for his fifth PGA TOUR victory. Prior to that, Phil Mickelson (2007) was the last winner of the event to record another victory within a year of THE PLAYERS (Mickelson won later that season at the Deutsche Bank Championship). Since then, Sergio Garcia (2008) didn’t win again until the 2012 Wyndham Championship; and Henrik Stenson (2009), Tim Clark (2010) and K.J. Choi (2011) have yet to capture another PGA TOUR title.
More on Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar leads all players on the PGA TOUR in top-10 finishes since the start of the 2010 season.
A look at the field
All 30 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings are committed; all 30 of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up with 46 of the top 50 included in the field.
There are 26 major championship winners, accounting for 53 major championships, in the field:
The field features 10 former PLAYERS Championship winners: Matt Kuchar (’12); K.J. Choi (’11); Tim Clark (’10); Henrik Stenson (’09); Sergio Garcia (’08); Phil Mickelson (’07); Adam Scott (’04), Davis Love III (’03, ‘92), Tiger Woods (’01) and Justin Leonard (’98).
THE PLAYERS Key Storylines and Notes
Thrilling competition in 2012 on the PGA TOUR leads up to THE PLAYERS
The PGA TOUR season has been a weekly showcase of exciting competition with a wide-range of champions and storylines. With early-season victories from 2012 FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott as well as multiple wins for Tiger Woods, the competition has provided for great anticipation in advance of this year’s PLAYERS.
The only multiple winner on the PGA TOUR so far in 2013, Tiger Woods (Farmers Insurance Open, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard) enters THE PLAYERS having led the FedExCup points list for the last seven weeks. Woods enjoys a 343-point advantage over Brandt Snedeker.
In his 2013 season debut on the PGA TOUR, became the first player in TOUR history to win on the same course eight times with his Farmers Insurance Open victory at Torrey Pines GC. Weeks later, Woods finished two strokes clear of Steve Stricker to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship for his 76th career PGA TOUR win and 17th World Golf Championships victory. Earlier in the week, Woods received putting tips from Stricker, with the two (Stricker finished No. 1) going on to finish as the top-two players in the field in Strokes Gained-Putting.
Woods followed the win at the WGC with a two-stroke victory over Justin Rose by two strokes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, winning the event for a PGA TOUR record-tying eighth time (Sam Snead at the Greater Greensboro Open). His 77th career PGA TOUR win moved him within five wins of all-time leader Snead’s 82 victories. With wins at the Cadillac Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, he won in back-to-back starts for the first time since the 2009 Buick Open and World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The victory helped him to supplant Rory McIlroy for the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking. The last time he held the top spot was on October 30, 2010.
Winner of THE PLAYERS in 2001, Woods has posted just one top 10 at TPC Sawgrass since his victory, a solo 8th in 2009. Despite the lack of top-10 finishes, Woods does rank No. 8 all-time in best career stroke average at THE PLAYERS at 71.44 in 55 events. However, of any tournament Woods has played in 50 times, this is his personal worst career scoring average.
Strong international presence again at THE PLAYERS 2012
A total of 48 players from 16 countries outside of the United States are in the field for THE PLAYERS 2013. Seven of the last 11 winners of THE PLAYERS are international players. A total of 12 international players have won THE PLAYERS in the 39-year history of the event.
Australia leads the way with nine players in the field, including Masters winner Adam Scott. England and South Africa each have seven representatives in the field. Korea and Sweden have five players teeing it up, while Argentina, Canada, Spain and Northern Ireland each send two players to THE PLAYERS. The other countries represented with one player each are Denmark, Fiji, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Zimbabwe.
Local players Horschel, Blixt highlight first-timers at THE PLAYERS Twenty-five players will arrive at TPC Sawgrass to compete in THE PLAYERS for the first time in 2013, including Jacksonville Beach/Ponte Vedra residents and PGA TOUR winners Billy Horschel and Jonas Blixt.
Horschel enters THE PLAYERS as one of the hottest players on TOUR. The former Florida Gator is on a current streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes, highlighted by his recent victory at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The victory also extended his TOUR-leading consecutive cuts streak to 23 and moved him to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings. In his last four events, Horschel has finished T2, T3, T9 and 1.
After entering the final round of the 2012 Frys.com Open two strokes off the lead, Blixt carded a final-round, 3-under 68 his first PGA TOUR win. Blixt was one of three rookies to win in 2012.
Joining Horschel and Blixt playing in the event for the first time are Charlie Beljan, Scott Brown, Will Claxton, Erik Compton, Joe Daley, Martin Flores, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Tedd Potter Jr., Russell Henley, Casey Wittenberg, Seung-Yul Noh, William McGirt, Jason Kokrak, Branden Grace, Thorbjorn Olesen, Daniel Summerhays, Luke Guthrie, Brian Stuard, David Lingmerth, James Hahn, Richard H. Lee, David Lynn and Wells Fargo Championship winner Derek Ernst.
Of the group mentioned above, Russell Henley, Scott Brown, Billy Horschel and Derek Ernst have already won on the PGA TOUR in 2013. Henley, who won the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii, also won the 2012 Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open on the Web.com Tour held at the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. Ernst earned the final spot in the field with his playoff victory on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Other than Jack Nicklaus, who won THE PLAYERS in its inaugural year in 1974, only Hal Sutton (1983) and Craig Perks (2002) have won the event in their first appearance.
Noteworthy players in the field
Adam Scott - Adam Scott returns to the PGA TOUR for the first time as a major champion following his monumental victory at the Masters in April. Scott’s win was the first for a player from Australia in the tournament’s history. Scott, who won at THE PLAYERS in 2004, has now won THE PLAYERS, a World Golf Championships event (Bridgestone Invitational), a major championship and the TOUR Championship; only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson can also make that claim.
Scott is one of three players (Scott, Greg Norman, Steve Elkington) from Australia who have won THE PLAYERS. He is also the youngest-ever to win the event at 23 years, 8 months and 12 days. Scott’s victory at THE PLAYERS came in his 41st start on the PGA TOUR, the fewest total starts of any champion in tournament history.
Davis Love III –
Making his 28th consecutive start at THE PLAYERS, Davis Love III (1986-2013) matches Ben Crenshaw (1974-2001) with the most consecutive starts in tournament history. Jay Haas, 29 starts, has played in THE PLAYERS the most times. Love, one of five multiple winners in the history of the event with victories in 1992 and 2003, holds a number of record or near-record performances at THE PLAYERS:
Phil Mickelson –
Winner of THE PLAYERS in 2007, Phil Mickelson holds the current streak for most consecutive cuts made at THE PLAYERS with 11, while Sergio Garcia is next with nine. Noting that the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on Monday, May 6, Mickelson (an inductee in 2012) is joined by Ernie Els and Vijay Singh as players in the field who are members of the Hall of Fame. Despite that success, Mickelson has only two rounds in the 60s at TPC Sawgrass since his victory in 2007, a span of 25 rounds. Mickelson ranks No. 2 in career earnings at THE PLAYERS, behind Sergio Garcia.
Rory McIlroy –
After a career season on the PGA TOUR in which he won four times including his second major championship at the PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy returns to THE PLAYERS for the fourth time in his career. In search of his first made cut at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy has not broken par in six-career rounds at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Steve Stricker –
Making just his sixth start of the season after announcing his intentions to play a shorter schedule at the beginning of the year, Steve Stricker has gone for quality over quantity with regards to his starts. Stricker has made the cut in all five events in which he has played this year with two runner-up finishes and a T5 added in. In 16 starts at THE PLAYERS, Stricker has just one top 10, a T6 in 1999.
Joe Daly - The oldest player in the field is Joe Daley, who will be 52 years, 6 months and 9 days when THE PLAYERS begins on May 9. Daley is playing in the event for the first time in his career thanks to his victory at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Daley has played two full seasons on the PGA TOUR (1996 and 1998). Since ’98, he has played three PGA TOUR tournaments. He will be teeing it up for his 60th event on the PGA TOUR and his first since the 2007 U.S. Open. He played 272 events on the Web.com Tour with two victories.
SOURCE: PGA TOUR
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