PGA TOUR LIVE Featured Groups: THE PLAYERS
May 09, 2016
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
- Rory McIlroy has three consecutive top-10 finishes at TPC Sawgrass. (Cy Cyr/PGA TOUR)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida -- The best field in golf has gathered again at TPC Sawgrass this week for THE PLAYERS Championship.
The tournament features 49 of the top 50 in the current FedExCup standings as well as 29 of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking. In each case, the complete top-10 is on hand.
In addition, 102 of the 144 players competing on the Stadium Course this week have won on the PGA TOUR, combing for a total of 438 victories. There are 22 major champions with a total of 42 titles.
So virtually any group carries star power but there are some extra-special pairings for PGA TOUR LIVE to follow in the first two rounds of the TOUR’s signature event.
The Thursday and Friday broadcasts begin at 7:30 a.m. and run until approximately 1 p.m. At that point, Featured Hole coverage of the par-4 12th and the par-5 16th begins.
Here are the Featured Groups this week at TPC Sawgrass:
Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer: This group features three former PLAYERS champions. Mickelson enters with momentum after closing with a 66 at the Wells Fargo Championship to tie for fourth, his fourth top-10 of the year. Stenson, who is ranked sixth in the world, missed the cut in Charlotte last week but he had consecutive top-three finishes on TOUR in March. Kaymer, a former World No. 1, posted his best finish of the year when he tied for sixth at Valderrama last month. Tee times: 8:21 a.m. off No. 10 on Thursday, 1:36 p.m. ET off No. 1 on Friday.
Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Branden Grace: A twist on the bevy of young guns pairing finds South Africa's Grace, the 28-year-old winner of recent RBC Heritage, with the top-two players in the world. Day, the world No. 1, already has two wins this year, and tied for fifth in his last outing at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans two weeks ago. Spieth, who clocks in at No. 2, is playing for the first time since the Masters where he finished second after making a quadruple bogey on the 12th hole Sunday. Tee times: 8:43 a.m. ET off No. 10 on Thursday; 1:58 p.m. ET off No. 1 on Friday.
Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott: Fowler is the defending champion, winning THE PLAYERS when he played his final six holes on Sunday in 6 under and shot 66, then prevailing in a three-hole aggregate playoff that stretched into one hole of sudden death. Fowler owned the 54-hole lead last week at the Wells Fargo Championship but ended up tied for fourth. Scott is a two-time winner already this season, and the 2004 PLAYERS champ. Kuchar, the 2012 PLAYERS champion who once lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, is looking to end a two-year victory drought. Tee times: 1:36 p.m. ET off No. 1 on Thursday, 8:21 a.m. ET off No. 10 on Friday.
Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson: McIlroy has had an interesting relationship with the Stadium Course, missing the cut the first three times he played the Pete Dye masterpiece but posting top-10s in his last three appearances. He comes to Ponte Vedra with momentum after firing a 66 on Sunday to tie for fourth in Charlotte. Johnson withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship but has top-five finishes in four of his five previous starts, including a tie for fourth at the Masters. Watson picked up his ninth TOUR win earlier this year when he won the Northern Trust Open for the second time. He nearly won his next start, too, finishing second at the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship. Tee times: 1:58 p.m. ET off No. 1 on Thursday, 8:43 a.m. ET off No. 10 on Friday.
PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of the 2016 PLAYERS Championship