Field Study: A quick look at each player at THE PLAYERS ChampionshipSix different countries (Canada, USA, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, South Korea) have produced a PLAYERS champion in the last six years.May 07, 2012
Mike McAllister and Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM staff
Field Study: THE PLAYERS Championship Blake Adams Missed cut last year in only PLAYERS start and has just one top-10 in 14 starts this year Robert Allenby Aussie's a darkhorse pick at TPC Sawgrass -- second in 2010; T4 in 2003 Arjun Atwal Been a tough year for the native of India -- 10 missed cuts in 12 starts Aaron Baddeley Has two top-10s in last three PLAYERS starts; one of best putters on TOUR Sang-Moon Bae TOUR rookie from South Korea has struggled since losing Transitions playoff Briny Baird Has 30 top-10s in 360 TOUR starts but still seeking first victory Ricky Barnes His third-place finish at AT&T Pebble Beach was best result in two years Matt Bettencourt Has played six rounds at TPC Sawgrass; best score was a 74 Kris Blanks Has made 14 starts this season and is still seeking first top-10 Keegan Bradley Reigning PGA champ made cut last year but finished 72nd Michael Bradley Has made nine PLAYERS starts but hasn't made cut since 1998 Jonathan Byrd Posted third top-10 of season at Wells Fargo; no top-10s in nine PLAYERS starts Angel Cabrera Has yet to post a top-20 finish in his first nine starts this year Chad Campbell His T24 at RBC Heritage is best finish in 12 starts in 2012 Paul Casey Still trying to find his game after coming back from shoulder injury Bud Cauley Rookie. Jacksonville native estimates he's played the Stadium Course 100 times Greg Chalmers Aussie known for his putting prowess has been quietly consistent this season Kevin Chappell Has a couple of T24s, his best finish in 13 starts this year K.J. Choi Had never finished better than T16 at PLAYERS until winning last year in his 10th start Stewart Cink In 62 starts since 2009 British Open win, his best finish is T5 (2010 Match Play) Tim Clark Injury-plagued 2010 PLAYERS champ has made just 10 starts in last two years Chris Couch No one on TOUR has hit more greens in regulations outside of 200 yards this year Ben Crane In three-year stretch between 2008-10, he finished T6, T5 and T4 at PLAYERS Ben Curtis He's red-hot: Followed win at Valero Texas Open with a T13 and a T5 Brian Davis In his last 10 rounds at TPC Sawgrass, has shot 71 five times Jason Day Finished T6 here last year and finally posted first top-10 of year at Wells Fargo Brendon de Jonge Opened season with T10 at Sony Open but hasn't matched that since Graham DeLaet Big-hitting Canadian finished tied for fourth at Zurich Classic last month Chris DiMarco In 32 career rounds at TPC Sawgrass, has seven rounds under par Luke Donald In nine PLAYERS starts, has two top-10 finishes, including T4 last year James Driscoll Two top-10s in his last four starts, including T9 at Wells Fargo Jason Dufner Zurich Classic winner finished T6 last year at TPC Sawgrass Ken Duke Veteran enjoying a solid year on TOUR; already has three top-10s Simon Dyson Won twice last year on European Tour but no top 10s thus far in 2012 Ernie Els In 18 starts at THE PLAYERS, Els has four top-10s including T6 in 2008 Harris English UGA product being allowed inside the ropes at TPC Sawgrass for the first time Bob Estes Just three of his 23 career rounds on the weekend at TPC Sawgrass are under par Matt Every Like Caukley, another Jacksonville native in this event for the first time. Rickie Fowler The monkey's off his back with Wells Fargo win; what's he got for an encore? Harrison Frazar In 10 PLAYERS starts, has six MCs and a best finish of T33 (2000) Jim Furyk Local resident has three top-10s at TPC Sawgrass in last eight starts Tommy Gainey Finished 35th on money list last year but currently 171st this year Sergio Garcia Has four top-15 finishes in last six PLAYERS starts, including win in 2008 Robert Garrigus Two runner-up finishes in his first 10 starts this year Brian Gay His T12 finish last year was best PLAYERS result in 10 career starts Tom Gillis His lone PLAYERS start was a missed cut in 2005 Lucas Glover His third-place finish in 2010 was only time he's contended in six PLAYERS starts Retief Goosen In last 11 starts dating back to last June, has just one top-20 finish Bill Haas Reigning FedExCup champ's best finish in five starts here? A T39 in 2010 Hunter Haas The $180K he won at Valero Texas Open was second-best payday of career Peter Hanson Shows up at big events -- T3 (Masters), T4 (Cadillac), T5 (Match Play) Padraig Harrington His 61 at Transitions is tied for lowest round on TOUR this year David Hearn Has made seven of 13 cuts this year; final-round averages ranks 4th on TOUR J.J. Henry In 10 PLAYERS starts, has made the cut just three times (best finish T42) Tim Herron Lone top 10 in 14 PLAYERS starts came in 2005 (T6) when he opened with 68-66 Charley Hoffman His T8 at RBC Heritage was first top-10 finish in last 25 TOUR starts J.B. Holmes Two top-10 finishes this year since returning from brain surgery Charles Howell III Still seeking his first round in 60s at TPC Sawgrass (28 career rounds) John Huh Three top-10s, including Mayakoba win, in first 12 starts on TOUR Ryuji Imada Made cut in just three of his first 12 starts this year Trevor Immelman His T33 last year at PLAYERS was first time he made cut at TPC Sawgrass Fredrik Jacobson Hasn't been in contention this year but does have four Top-20 finishes Brandt Jobe Five missed cuts in seven starts at THE PLAYERS Zach Johnson Eight of his last 12 rounds at TPC Sawgrass have been under par Sung Kang Tough year thus far with nine missed cuts in first 15 starts Robert Karlsson Swede has yet to record top 10 this year on PGA TOUR or in Europe Martin Kaymer Final-round scoring average at PLAYERS is 3 strokes higher than any other round Jerry Kelly Finished 4th in 2001 and T6 in 2004 in best two PLAYERS finishes J.J. Killeen Nationwide Tour money winner in 2011 has 10 missed cuts in 16 starts in 2012 Chris Kirk In 17 starts since Viking Classic win last year, has just one top-30 finish Colt Knost Solid season already with two top-fives in 2012 on courses that demand accuracy Matt Kuchar Three top-20 finishes in last five starts at TPC Sawgrass Martin Laird Cumulative 37 under in first two stroke-play starts in 2012; cumulative 13 over since Marc Leishman Will try to get over nightmarish 81-80 showing at TPC Sawgrass last year Justin Leonard Amazingly, his 1998 PLAYERS win is only time in 17 starts he's finished in top 10 Spencer Levin Shot in the 60s just one time in his last 17 rounds on TOUR Davis Love III Seven top-10s in 26 PLAYERS starts, including wins in 1992, 2003 Jeff Maggert Back at the Stadium Course for the first time since 2008 Hunter Mahan This season's only two-timer winner finished T6 here last year John Mallinger Has struggled has posting a tie for second at Humana Challenge in January David Mathis Had two top-20 finishes prior to missing cut at Wells Fargo Troy Matteson For what it's worth, no one on TOUR has a steeper launch angle this year Billy Mayfair His only top-10 in 20 PLAYERS starts came in 2001 (T5) Graeme McDowell Ranks second to Jim Furyk in driving accuracy this year Rory McIlroy Missed the cut in his two previous PLAYERS starts and didn't play last year George McNeill Puerto Rico win was second of career and first since 2007 John Merrick Best finish in 151 career TOUR starts was second at 2009 Bob Hope (now Humana) Phil Mickelson Three rounds in 60s in winning here in 2007; two rounds in 60s since then Bryce Molder Six top-20 finishes in first 10 TOUR starts this year Francesco Molinari Like Rickie Fowler, he comes off a win (Spanish Open on European Tour) Ryan Moore Has come on strong with three top-10 finishes in last four starts Kevin Na Has been in contention a lot with four top 10s, also T3 at 2009 PLAYERS Sean O'Hair Has just two top-20 finishes in the event and one top-10 this year, a T2 in Hawaii Nick O'Hern Has missed six cuts in 11 starts this year, including last two Joe Ogilvie Failed to qualify for last two PLAYERS, missed the cut four straight years prior Geoff Ogilvy Withdrew with shoulder injury in second round last year; best finish a T16 in 2004 Louis Oosthuizen Two European Tour wins this year to go with runner-up at Masters Jeff Overton Has had up-and-down year but does boast two top-5s this season Ryan Palmer Missed the cut in last three PLAYERS; coming off a T4 in New Orleans, where he carded a 64 Rod Pampling First PLAYERS since 2009; missed the cut in four of last five appearances Pat Perez Solid year with five top-25 finishes but has missed cut in last two PLAYERS Tom Pernice Jr. One of the oldest players in the field at 52, playing in his 11th PLAYERS Carl Pettersson Won last month at Hilton Head; also has two runner-up finishes this season Scott Piercy Ranks 17th in driving distance and 19th in strokes gained-putting, but 161st in fairways hit D.A. Points Coming off a playoff loss at Quail Hollow; making just third PLAYERS start Ian Poulter Runner-up in 2009, comes into this year's event off two top-7 finishes in last two TOUR starts Alvaro Quiros Tied for sixth at last year's PLAYERS; won twice on European Tour in 2011 Chez Reavie Tied for 60th in 2009 in only appearance at PLAYERS; is coming off MC in Charlotte John Rollins Up-and-down year with five missed cuts in 12 starts but also four top 10s Andres Romero Failed to break 70 in last 12 rounds but did tie for 10th here two years ago Justin Rose Win at Doral was one of four top 10s this year but has missed cut here four of last five trips Rory Sabbatini Missed the cut in three of his last four starts; best PLAYERS finish a T27 in '08 Adam Scott Won here in '04, T6 last year; has played sparingly this year with four starts on TOUR John Senden In top 10 on TOUR in greens hit and birdie average; coming off good week in Charlotte Webb Simpson Coming off a fourth in Charlotte, where he recorded his fourth top 10 this year Vijay Singh Five finishes in top 15 in hometown event; best was a runner-up in 2001 Heath Slocum Coming off strong effort at Quail Hollow; tied for fourth here two years ago Brandt Snedeker Won earlier this year in San Diego; coming off two straight top-20 finishes Kevin Stadler Three top 10s this year, including one last month in Hilton Head Scott Stallings Making his PLAYERS debut; has missed seven cuts in 11 starts this year Kyle Stanley Just one top 20 since win in Phoenix back in February; making PLAYERS debut Brendan Steele Missed the cut in first trip last year; two top-10s this season Henrik Stenson Loves TPC Sawgrass: Won here in '09 and also had a T10 in '08 and a T3 in '06 Kevin Streelman After two missed cuts in his first two trips, tied for 19th last year Steve Stricker Four top 10s in just seven starts this year; only one MC in last six PLAYERS Chris Stroud Finished T10 and T12 last two years; just one finish outside top 25 since Mexico Josh Teater Missed the cut in lone appearance last year; missed three of last four cuts this year Michael Thompson Playing in his first PLAYERS; ranks in top 10 on TOUR in Strokes Gained-Putting David Toms Lost playof to K.J. Choi here last year; in top 5 on TOUR in driving accuracy D.J. Trahan Missed the cut in 5 of 6 trips to TPC Sawgrass; WD from Quail Hollow with back injury Cameron Tringale Making PLAYERS debut; comes in with top-10 finishes in three of last four starts Bo Van Pelt Feast or famine here with a T4 and a T8 ... and five missed cuts Jhonattan Vegas Missed the cut here last year and doesn't have a finish in top 25 this season Scott Verplank Has made just five starts this year after undergoing wrist surgery last September Camilo Villegas Tied for third in '06 event but has struggled with a bad back this season Johnson Wagner AVIS Player of the Month for January with three top 10s including a win and a second Jimmy Walker Making third straight trip to PLAYERS; tied for 26th two years ago Nick Watney Career-best T4 at last year's PLAYERS and is coming off an eighth in Charlotte Lee Westwood Back for first time since 2010 when he was T4; has four top-5 finishes this season Charlie Wi Two top-5 finishes this season but has two MCs in four trips to TPC Sawgrass Mark Wilson Won in January but has just one top 25 since February, one of TOUR's most accurate off tee Gary Woodland Making first start since WD from Masters with wrist injury Tiger Woods Coming off 8th MC of career; WD from last two PLAYERS because of injury Y.E. Yang Has two MCs in three trips to TPC Sawgrass; zero top 25s in stroke play this year
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- A total of 144 players will tee off Thursday for the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Here's a quick look at each one (in alphabetical order).