The Players Championship will be contested this week here in Northeast Florida. This is one of my very favorite times of the year, as the city of Jacksonville takes off work for a week and the world's top touring pros converge on the Stadium Course at Sawgrass.
This is golf played at the highest levels. A shotmaker's course, the Stadium always seems to yield a remarkable Sunday finish. This will be my eighth year in a row of attending the tournament, and it's always fascinating to follow one of the more obscure trios with a tiny gallery. It's so instrumental to watch these players up close and how they approach the game, how they converse with their caddies, how they set up their shots.
Kris is flying in from Portland this morning and we're going to play golf five of the next seven days. The other two days we'll be out at the tournament, watching some of the most riveting live golf played all year.
Here's three I think can do a lot of damage on the leaderboard this weekend:
- Boo Weekley. Boo's only missed one cut in eleven starts this year and he has been hot lately. When he's really on and rolling it, he can torch a shotmaker's course (that's why he won back to back at The Heritage, a similar course). Right now, it wouldn't surprise me to see Boo come out blazing on Thursday. I'm going to watch him for sure...
- Adam Scott. Scott won here before and he seems so tuned in this year. He's had only four starts in the U.S. this year, but he's been dominant, winning The Masters and finishing near the top in the other tournaments. The difference is his putting and, after ten inches of rain last weekend, these greens are lush and firm (we've dried out nicely, so they're a 12 on the stimpmeter).
- Luke Donald. He hasn't played well yet this year, but this is a great course for his game. Precision iron play, risk-reward shotmaking, and chipping and putting are Donald staples, and if he can get hot this would vault him right back into a solid standing in the world rankings.
Tiger will have his inevitable 10,000-spectator galleries, but I don't think he'll be much of a threat this year. The course seems not so suit his eye, even though he's won here multiple times in the past, and he has admitted that he often struggles with the layout.
I'm looking forward to posting up on sixteen green and watching the approaches into that great eagle hole, then the island green tee shots.
A cold'un and some shrimp and grits and golf...that's spring in Northeast Florida!