The First Look: THE PLAYERS Championship
March 06, 2022
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
- March 06, 2022
The best all-time shots on every hole at THE PLAYERS
The top 30 golfers in the FedExCup standings – including 2017 FedExCup winner and defending champion Justin Thomas – will tee it up at THE PLAYERS Championship.
The strongest field of the season, including 48 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, is primed to take on the iconic Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
FIELD NOTES: Take your pick of golf’s notable names – all be in the field at THE PLAYERS. World No.1 Jon Rahm, 2019 PLAYERS champion Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa, and the list goes on. Hovland remains one of the hottest players in the game, leading at the halfway point of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard… Of the 125 golfers who qualified for last season’s FedExCup Playoffs, 123 will be in the field at TPC Sawgrass, the most of any tournament in the FedExCup era… Eight previous PLAYERS champions and eight FedExCup champions are in the field… If the winners at Bay Hill and in Puerto Rico are not yet qualified for THE PLAYERS they will earn a spot in the field… Hideki Matsuyama is also one of the hottest players in the game after winning the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, and he’s keen to add a PLAYERS trophy to his case. Matsuyama tied the Sawgrass scoring record (a 9-under 63) in the opening round in 2020 before the rest of the tournament was cancelled… The reigning FedExCup Champion, Patrick Cantlay, is looking to continue his excellent start to the 2021-22 season. He’s finished outside the top 10 in just one of his five starts so far… Among the handful of golfers set to make their PLAYERS debuts is Stephan Jaeger, who was the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year.
COURSE: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium), 7,256 yards, par 72. The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass was built in 1980 and has since become one of the trickiest, and best, layouts every year on the PGA TOUR. The Pete Dye masterpiece went through a renovation in 2016 but many of the course’s signatures – including, of course, the par-3 17th island green – remain.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points.
STORYLINES: Justin Thomas will look to become the first back-to-back winner in the history of THE PLAYERS Championship… The only golfers who are qualified for THE PLAYERS but not teeing it up are Bryson DeChambeau, Harris English, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, and Tiger Woods. This will be the first PLAYERS since 1994 without either Woods or Mickelson… Woods still be part of the week’s festivities, however, as he will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the PGA TOUR Global Home on March 9… After a limited fan experience in 2021 and a cancelled event in 2020, tournament organizers are set to welcome back a full group of spectators this year.
72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Greg Norman (1994).
18-HOLE RECORD: 63, Fred Couples (3rd round, 1992), Greg Norman (1st round, 1994), Roberto Castro (1st round, 2013), Martin Kaymer (1st round, 2014); Jason Day (1st round, 2016); Colt Knost (2nd round, 2016); Webb Simpson (2nd round, 2018); Brooks Koepka (4th round, 2018).
LAST TIME: THE PLAYERS Championship returned after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 version after just one day, and Justin Thomas won by one shot over Lee Westwood. Thomas, who shot a tournament-best 64 on Saturday, went birdie-eagle-birdie on Nos. 10-12 in the final round to pull ahead. He was three shots behind Westwood as he stood on the ninth tee, but after his birdie on 12 he was two ahead. Thomas’ 12-under 132 on the weekend was the lowest in PLAYERS history. Westwood was still in the mix late but fell victim to Sawgrass’ par-3 17th, making bogey. Brian Harman and Bryson DeChambeau finished a shot further back than Westwood, at 12 under, while Talor Gooch and Paul Casey tied for fifth.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC).
PGA TOUR LIVE: See full coverage details below
Radio: Thursday-Friday, 11–6 p.m. ET. Saturday-Sunday, 12–6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
ENHANCED COVERAGE DETAILS
THE PLAYERS and NBCU
• 22 total hours of coverage from Thursday through Sunday
• More than 20 groups from the morning sessions will be available on ESPN+
Live From THE PLAYERS
• 45.5 live hours on GOLF Channel, including the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
• PGA TOUR LIVE to produce an estimated 167 hours of coverage across our 4 streams for the 4 tournament channels.
Practice round shows
• Tuesday: Military Appreciation Ceremony followed by Kelsea Ballerini concert
• Wednesday: World Golf Hall of Fame Ceremony
PGA TOUR LIVE
• 12 hosts, 3 walking announcers, 130 personnel onsite, 75 personnel in St. Augustine
• Use of ARL graphic technology for tracing and hole flyover animations with statistical information
Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Stream 1 Main Feed: 6:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Main Feed: 6:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Main Feed: 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Main Feed: 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Group: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 2 Marquee: 7:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Marquee: 7:45 a.m.-12 p.m. Marquee: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Marquee: 8:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Group: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Group: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 3 Featured Groups: 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Featured Groups: 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Featured Groups: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Groups: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Stream 4 Featured Holes: 7:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Featured Holes: 7:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Featured Holes: 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Holes: 8:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Featured Hole: 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
• Main Feed: primary tournament-coverage featuring the best action from across the course
• Marquee Group: new “marquee group” showcasing every shot from each player in the group
• Featured Groups: traditional PGA TOUR LIVE coverage of two concurrent featured groups
• Featured Holes: a combination of par-3s and iconic or pivotal holes