With THE PLAYERS Championship just around the corner, here’s everything you need to know about the tournament, from course information to last year’s winner.
When and where?
March 14-17, 2019 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, designed by Pete Dye with input from his wife, Alice, and former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman, opened in October 1980. The first course in the TPC Network is balanced with a combination of short, medium and long holes and a routing in which each proceeding hole is played in a different direction. The course has been renovated over the years, most recently in 2016 when five greens were expanded, a lake installed between the sixth and seventh fairways, all greens rebuilt and regrassed, all bunkers rebuilt and the 12th hole redesigned into a drivable par 4.
7,189; par 72
Webb Simpson, U.S.
Daily Stadium Pass options from $25 to $70 depending on the day are available Tuesday-Sunday and grant access to the tournament grounds, a Weekly Stadium Pass ($240) provides grounds access Tuesday-Saturday. Advance tickets are available at www.THEPLAYERS.com. Admission is free for kids 18 and under and for career military and dependents; veterans can purchase two discounted tickets.
See you in March. pic.twitter.com/YIzyoYqaW9
— THE PLAYERS (@THEPLAYERSChamp) February 21, 2019
How Webb Simpson won in 2018
Webb Simpson tied the course record with a 63 in the second round and built a seven-stroke lead through 54 holes before holding on to take his first win since 2013. Simpson was in a six-way tie for the lead after an opening 66, then started the second round with a 31 on the front nine and added six straight birdies through the 16th hole to go 11-under for the day. He found water with his tee shot on the island-green par-3 17th and made a double bogey that cost him the outright course record. A 68 by Simpson in the third round for a 197 total nearly settled the issue as only Danny Lee (204) and Dustin Johnson (206) were closer than 10 strokes. Simpson hovered around par throughout the final round as nobody got closer than four strokes, which ended up being the final margin when Simpson double bogeyed the 18th hole for a 73 and 18-under 270 total. Charl Schwartzel, Xander Schauffele and Jimmy Walker all shot 67s to tie for second.
- Simpson ranked first in Strokes Gained: Putting at 2.342 per round and third in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green at 1.247.
- Simpson ranked first in Driving Accuracy Percentage, hitting 46 of 56 fairways.
- Simpson played the 16 par 5s in 13-under to rank T1 in Par 5 Scoring, making two eagles.
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Check this out
- Webb Simpson set THE PLAYERS Championship records for largest 36-hole lead at five strokes and largest 54-hole lead at seven strokes.
- Simpson tied tournament records for low 36 holes at 129 (Jason Day, 2016) and low 54 holes at 197 (Greg Norman, 1994).
- Simpson’s 63 in the second round tied the 18-hole record, now shared by eight players including Brooks Koepka who did it in the final round in 2018.
- Simpson in Round 2 and Justin Rose in Round 4 made six straight birdies, matching the tournament record now shared by 10 players.
- Xander Schauffele finished T2 in his first appearance at THE PLAYERS Championship. The only players to win their THE PLAYERS debut besides Jack Nicklaus at the 1974 inaugural were Hal Sutton (1983) and Craig Perks (2002).
Field: 144 players
Format: 72 holes stroke play
Purse: $11 million (2018)
Winner’s Share: $1,980,000 (2018)
FedExCup Points: 600 to the winner
Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit more than 300 charities throughout Northeast Florida and have totaled more than $100 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977.
Notable course features
The closing three-hole stretch provides one of the most dramatic stages in tournament golf. The 523-yard 16th offers an eagle opportunity but with danger lurking in water right of the green. The island green 137-yard par-3 17th is a wedge or 9-iron shot with even more danger. The 462-yard par-4 18th, with water left, was the second toughest on the course (to the par-3 eighth) in 2018.
THE PLAYERS Stadium Course is designed with the complete fan experience in mind. The fan-friendliness encompasses the entire venue, including modern amenities and technology, views of golf unlike any other in the world, a wide array of places to eat (from food trucks to upgraded dining venues), a Kids Zone, a miniature replica of the 17th hole and other special venues. Military Appreciation Day takes place on Tuesday and is capped by a free concert at the island-green 17th hole.
This article first appeared in the PGA TOUR December 2018-May 2019 issue, which can be read here.
See also: Who is THE PLAYERS Championship Winner Webb Simpson?