The Players Championship is one of the most eagerly anticipated golf tournaments of the year and the latest odds, tips and predictions ahead of the 2021 event are already beginning to emerge.
The likes of Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm will once again be among the frontrunners to take the title, but there are several other contenders who are also worth keeping an eye on.
Here, we examine the latest odds for the Players Championship, offer some tips on who to back, and provide our predictions for the tournament.
As expected, McIlroy and Rahm are among the favourites to win the Players Championship, with both currently priced at around 10/1 with most bookmakers.
World number one Dustin Johnson is also among the frontrunners, as is Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas, who are both priced at around 12/1.
Elsewhere, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, and Xander Schauffele are all priced at around 20/1, while Collin Morikawa and Patrick Reed are available at slightly longer odds of around 25/1.
When it comes to picking a winner for the Players Championship, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration.
Firstly, players who have a strong record at TPC Sawgrass should be given serious consideration. The course is notoriously difficult and requires a great deal of precision and accuracy, so experience of playing there can be crucial.
Secondly, players who are in form coming into the tournament should also be heavily backed. Golf is a notoriously difficult sport to predict, but players who have been playing well in recent weeks are likely to have the confidence and momentum needed to succeed at The Players Championship.
With those factors in mind, here are a few names to consider backing for the tournament:
– Rory McIlroy: The Northern Irishman has a great record at TPC Sawgrass, having won the tournament in 2019 and finished in the top 10 on four other occasions. He has also been playing well in recent weeks, finishing in the top 10 of his last three tournaments.
– Jon Rahm: The Spaniard is another player with a strong record at TPC Sawgrass, having finished in the top 12 in each of his last three appearances at the tournament. He is also in great form, having won the BMW Championship in August 2020 and finished in the top 10 in each of his last three tournaments.
– Dustin Johnson: The world number one may not have a great record at TPC Sawgrass, but he has been playing some of the best golf of his career over the past year or so. He won the Masters in November 2020 and has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last nine tournaments.
The Players Championship is always one of the most unpredictable events on the golfing calendar, with the notoriously difficult TPC Sawgrass course capable of throwing up all kinds of surprises.
That being said, we believe that Rory McIlroy is the man to watch this year. The 31-year-old has a great record at TPC Sawgrass and has been playing some superb golf in recent weeks.
If McIlroy can maintain his current form and continue to play with the control and precision that he has shown in recent tournaments, we believe that he has every chance of adding a second Players Championship title to his collection.
Of course, there are plenty of other players who could also lift the trophy come Sunday evening, but for now, we believe that McIlroy is the man to beat.