The PLAYERS: SB Nation’s Enjoying By means of workers predicts winners

The marquee occasion on the PGA Tour returns to TPC Sawgrass, the house of The PLAYERS Championship.

Final 12 months, Scottie Scheffler ran away with the title, taking pictures a 7-under 65 on Saturday and a 3-under 69 on Sunday to win by 5 photographs over Tyrrell Hatton.

After all, Scheffler received final week at Bay Hill. His triumph on the Arnold Palmer Invitational marked his first victory since The PLAYERS a season in the past and his seventh profession PGA Tour victory general.

However no participant has ever repeated at TPC Sawgrass, which speaks to the unpredictable nature of this course. Water comes into play on nearly each gap, hassle lurks in all places, and an array of shot shapes is required to win.

With that in thoughts, allow us to get to our workers picks:

PGA Tour, The PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass

The 18th gap at TPC Sawgrass.
Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Pictures

Kendall Capps – Senior Editor

I’m again on the Justin Thomas practice.

Choosing in opposition to Scottie Scheffler after what he did final week—and final 12 months on this course—is perhaps infantile.

Nevertheless, I’m not totally satisfied that his placing woes have subsided.

In the meantime, Thomas has quietly performed wonderful golf since final 12 months’s Ryder Cup. Outdoors of lacking the minimize on the Genesis Invitational, Thomas has tied for third, sixth, twelfth, and twelfth up to now in 2024.

He has made a birdie or higher 29% of the time this season, rating fourth on the PGA Tour in that metric. If you happen to can put your self in place at TPC Sawgrass, birdie alternatives current themselves, and fortunately for Thomas, he has carried out simply that up to now this season.

Thomas is eighth on tour in Strokes Gained: Tee to Inexperienced in 2024, and barring a troublesome again 9 final week at Bay Hill, he may have put extra strain on Scheffler.

Alas, Thomas has by no means missed the minimize at TPC Sawgrass. He has additionally received right here earlier than—in 2021—and can accomplish that once more this week.

Justin Thomas, PGA Tour, The PLAYERS Championship

Justin Thomas celebrates his victory at The PLAYERS Championship in 2021.
Photograph by Sam Greenwood/Getty Pictures

Jack Milko – Employees Author

With the ultimate spherical of The PLAYERS Championship falling on Choice Sunday, I really feel obligated to make use of an NCAA Match time period to make my decide.

I’m going all chalk.

Scottie Scheffler is enjoying in a league of his personal, and I can not decide in opposition to him.

He leads the tour in scoring common, strokes gained general, and strokes gained off the tee. He has hit 78% of his greens in regulation, additionally rating on the prime of the PGA Tour.

His latest play resembles prime Tiger Woods, and Scheffler will obtain one thing that not even Woods has carried out this week: repeat at TPC Sawgrass.

Final 12 months, Scheffler gained a preposterous 17.274 complete strokes, with solely 0.107 of these approaching the greens. He performed with a blade putter then, and Scheffler is at present one-for-one together with his new mallet putter.

The 2022 Masters champion gained 4.347 strokes on the greens final week, rating fifth on the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Along with his superior play tee-to-green, it’s no shock that he received convincingly.

As such, I like his scorching putter to proceed flexing its muscle tissue at TPC Sawgrass, the place Scheffler will grow to be the primary participant to win back-to-back PLAYERS Championships.

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, The PLAYERS Championship

The pinnacle on Scottie Scheffler’s new mallet putter.
Photograph by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Pictures

Savannah Leigh Richardson – Employees Author

Like Jack, my decide this week can also be Scottie Scheffler.

I feel Scheffler goes back-to-back at TPC Sawgrass, coming into himself into his personal sphere amongst PGA Tour legends.

Now that he has gotten a scorching putter, it may get ugly for the remainder of the sphere.

“I discovered a putter that I line up very properly,” Scheffler defined Tuesday.

“I wasn’t utilizing it as making an attempt to hit it completely every time or utilizing it in anything aside from to try to assist myself line up.”

Scheffler additionally eliminated the road from his ball forward of final week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, which additionally paid dividends.

“It’s loads simpler to say, ‘Hey, it doesn’t actually matter for those who miss or make it, however on the finish of the day, it issues a heck of loads to me whether or not that putt goes in or not,’” Scheffler added.

“However it’s about sticking to my course of and controlling what I can management. That’s having a superb perspective and hitting a superb putt, and never utilizing the road has helped loads in that.”

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, The PLAYERS Championship

Scottie Scheffler after profitable the 2023 PLAYERS Championship.
Photograph by Keyur Khamar/PGA Tour through Getty Pictures

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Enjoying By means of. You’ll want to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as properly.

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