PGA Tour
PGA - THE PLAYERS Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, May 6th through Sunday, May 9th
SITE: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
COURSE ARCHITECT: Pete Dye (1979, redesign/renovation, 2006-07)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,215
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 423 Yds10 - Par 4 424 Yds
2 - Par 5 532 Yds11 - Par 5 558 Yds
3 - Par 3 177 Yds12 - Par 4 358 Yds
4 - Par 4 384 Yds13 - Par 3 181 Yds
5 - Par 4 471 Yds14 - Par 4 481 Yds
6 - Par 4 393 Yds15 - Par 4 449 Yds
7 - Par 4 442 Yds16 - Par 5 523 Yds
8 - Par 3 237 Yds17 - Par 3 137 Yds
9 - Par 5 583 Yds18 - Par 4 462 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,642 Yds36 3,573 Yds
 
Annual:  37th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 1-7 p.m. (et),
  - Thursday/Friday -- 9 p.m.-12 a.m. (et) - replay,
  NBC - Saturday/Sunday -- 2-7 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Henrik Stenson
Runner-Up:  Ian Poulter
Tournament Record:  264 (Greg Norman, 1994)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Greg Norman, 1994)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Greg Norman, 1994)
Course Record:  63 (Fred Couples, 1992; Greg Norman, 1994)
Total Purse:  $9,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,710,000; 2nd Place - $1,026,000; 3rd Place - $646,000
 
2009 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Henrik Stenson276Ben Crane282
Ian Poulter280Brian Davis282
Kevin Na281Tiger Woods283
John Mallinger281Five players at284
Jim Furyk282
 
Past THE PLAYERS Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2009Henrik Stenson (276) -- Ian Poulter
2008*Sergio Garcia (283) -- Paul Goydos
2007Phil Mickelson (277) -- Sergio Garcia
2006Stephen Ames (274) -- Retief Goosen
2005Fred Funk (279) -- Tom Lehman, Luke Donald, Scott Verplank
2004Adam Scott (276) -- Padraig Harrington
2003Davis Love III (271) -- Jay Haas, Padraig Harrington
2002Craig Perks (280) -- Stephen Ames
2001Tiger Woods (274) -- Vijay Singh
2000Hal Sutton (278) -- Tiger Woods
1999David Duval (285) -- Scott Gump
1998Justin Leonard (278) -- Tom Lehman, Glen Day
1997Steve Elkington (272) -- Scott Hoch
1996Fred Couples (270) -- Colin Montgomerie, Tommy Tolles
1995Lee Janzen (283) -- Bernhard Langer
1994Greg Norman (264) -- Fuzzy Zoeller
1993Nick Price (270) -- Bernhard Langer
1992Davis Love III (273) -- Ian Baker-Finch, Phil Blackmar, Nick Faldo,
Tom Watson
1991Steve Elkington (276) -- Fuzzy Zoeller
1990Jodie Mudd (278) -- Mark Calcavecchia
1989Tom Kite (279) -- Chip Beck
1988Mark McCumber (273) -- Mike Reid
1987*Sandy Lyle (274) -- Jeff Sluman
1986John Mahaffey (275) -- Larry Mize
1985Calvin Peete (274) -- D.A. Weibring
1984Fred Couples (277) -- Lee Trevino
1983Hal Sutton (283) -- Bob Eastwood
1982Jerry Pate (280) -- Brad Bryant, Scott Simpson
1981*Ray Floyd (285) -- Barry Jaeckel, Curtis Strange
1980Lee Trevino (278) -- Ben Crenshaw
1979Lanny Wadkins (283) -- Tom Watson
1978Jack Nicklaus (289) -- Lou Graham
1977Mark Hayes (289) -- Mike McCullough
1976Jack Nicklaus (269) -- J.C. Snead
1975Al Geiberger (270) -- Dave Stockton
1974Jack Nicklaus (272) -- J.C. Snead

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Tournament Players Championship (1974-87).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
Henrik Stenson------------------T-3T-23T-10Won
Ian Poulter------------T-33mcT-27T-28T-212nd
Kevin Na---------------mcmc---T-54T-3
John Mallinger---------------------T-64mcT-3
Ben Crane---------mcT-66---T-36---T-6T-5
Jim FurykT-61T-21T-14T-4---mcT-3T-28T-27T-5
Brian Davis------------mc---T-20mcmcT-5
Tiger Woods2ndWonT-14T-11T-16T-53T-22T-37---8th
Aaron Baddeley------------mc78thmcT-37T-32T-9
David TomsT-38T-12T-19mcmcT-68mcT-64T-32T-9
Vijay SinghT-332ndmcmcT-13T-12T-8T-44mcT-9
Tim Clark---------T-21mcmcmcT-68mcT-9
Alex Cejka------------T-33T-12------mcT-9
Mike WeirmcT-44T-19T-27mcT-17T-22T-37T-32T-14
Robert AllenbyT-53T-21T-11T-4T-33mcT-38mcT-42T-14
Camilo Villegas------------------T-3mcT-66T-14
Paul Casey------------T-10mc---mcmcT-14
Angel Cabrera---T-26T-36mc---mcmc---mcT-14
Sergio GarciamcT-50T-4mcT-53T-32T-142ndWonT-22
Kenny PerryT-27T-18T-60T-32T-3mc---T-58T-15T-22
Ben Curtis------------mcmcmcmcT-42T-22
Geoff Ogilvy------mcT-21T-16mcmcT-37mcT-22
Justin Rose---------T-39T-58mcmc---mcT-22
Zach Johnson---------------T-8T-58T-16mcT-32
Justin LeonardT-22mcT-44T-21T-42mcmcmcmcT-32
Luke Donald---------mcmcT-2mcT-16T-27T-37
Bubba Watson---------------------mcmcT-37
Ernie ElsT-20mcT-44---T-26T-17T-8T-37T-6T-45
Stephen AmesT-42mc2ndT-17T-13mcWonmc5thT-49
Scott VerplankT-20T-44T-28T-8T-26T-2mcT-44mcT-49
Padraig Harrington---T-33T-22T-22ndT-63mcT-52mcT-49
Phil MickelsonmcT-33T-28---T-3T-40T-14WonT-21T-55
Martin Kaymer---------------------------T-55
K.J. Choi------T-28mcT-42mcT-16T-23mcT-71
Hunter Mahan---------------T-40---mcwdT-71
Stewart CinkT-33mcmcT-39T-22T-32mcT-3T-21T-76
Fred FunkT-13T-33mcT-45T-10WonT-16mcmcT-79
Paul GoydosmcT-68---------------mc2ndmc
Adam Scott------mcT-17WonT-8T-53T-6T-54mc
Davis Love IIIT-48mcmcWonT-33T-8mcT-75T-54mc
Sean O'Hair------------------T-5811thmcmc
Lucas Glover------------------mcmcmcmc
Trevor Immelman---------mcwd------mc---mc
Rory McIlroy---------------------------mc
Y.E. Yang---------------------------mc
Lee WestwoodT-48mcmc------T-22T-38---mc---
Alvaro Quiros------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Phil Mickelson
Darkhorse - Bo Van Pelt
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Lee Westwood) - Finished tied for 38th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Ricky Barnes) - Finished tied for 22nd
 
NOTES:
The PGA Tour moves back to the state of Florida this week, as the finest field of the 2010 season takes shape with the 37th edition of THE PLAYERS Championship. Eighteen of the top-20 players on the current PGA Tour money list are competing this week for the chance to win the unofficial fifth major. Steve Stricker, who is sixth on the money list and ranked third in the world, will miss the event due to a right shoulder injury and Anthony Kim, fourth on the money list and 11th in the world, is sidelined by a left thumb injury.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods will try and bounce back from his worst event as a professional last week. Woods missed the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship following rounds of 74-79. The 36-hole total of 153 was his worst as a pro. World No.2 Phil Mickelson can overtake Woods for the No. 1 ranking this week. If Mickelson wins and Woods finishes outside of the top five, Mickelson would be the No. 1 player in the world for the first time in his career. Woods has been No. 1 for the last five years.

This is the fourth straight year that this event is being held in May. The 2007 event marked the first time that the tournament had been moved from March since the first three years of the event. This tournament was held in September in 1974, August in 1975 and February in 1976 before moving to March.

World No. 18 and defending champion Henrik Stenson will attempt to do something no one has ever done, capture back-to-back PLAYERS Championship titles. In recent years, the closest anyone has come was Hal Sutton, when he captured the 2000 title and tied for fifth in 2001.

Last year, Stenson fired a flawless, six-under 66 in the final round to become the first Swede to win this event. Stenson finished at 12-under 276 and won the title by four strokes over Ian Poulter at the Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass. His five-stroke comeback in the final round matched Justin Leonard's record from 1998. Stenson posted the only bogey-free final round last year.

In 2008, Sergio Garcia parred the first playoff hole, the famous island green at 17, to defeat Paul Goydos and win this event. The win was Garcia's seventh on the PGA Tour, but first since the 2005 Booz Allen Classic. The victory was his biggest to date since this is called by some, "the fifth major."

An international player has either won or finished second the last nine years (five wins). Since 1991, an international player has won this event nine times, with eight seconds and three thirds.

In 2007, Mickelson opened with a first-round 67 and carded weekend rounds of 69 to win his first PLAYERS Championship. He finished at 11-under-par 277, which was good for a two-shot victory. Garcia birdied four of his last five holes in the final round to shoot a six-under 66 and take second place at minus-nine. Third-round leader Sean O'Hair was two behind Mickelson throughout the back nine, but put two balls in the water at 17 and fell down the leaderboard. He ended up with a final-round, four-over 76. A bogey at the last dropped him to a solo 11th at minus-five.

Mickelson bogeyed the final hole in 2007 and became the eighth player in the history of the event to bogey the last and still win. Mickelson joined Adam Scott (2004), Woods (2001), Justin Leonard (1998), Jodie Mudd (1990), Mark McCumber (1988), Fred Couples (1984) and Sutton (1983) on that list.

In 2006, Stephen Ames fired the lowest round of the day on Sunday, a five- under 67, to cruise to victory at this event. He finished at 14-under-par 274 and won by six strokes over two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen. The six-shot win was the second largest margin of victory in tournament history - Steve Elkington won by seven in 1997. The Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass played difficultly in the final round in 2006. There were eight scores in the 80s, as opposed to just three in the 60s. That just made Ames' spectacular round and margin of victory all the more impressive. Ames became the fifth player over the age of 40 to win this event, joining Fred Funk (2005), Sutton (2000), Calvin Peete (1985) and Lee Trevino (1980).

There were four holes-in-one in 2006 at this event, all on the 13th hole. Leonard aced the hole at 192 yards with a five-iron in the second round. Jesper Parnevik also aced the 13th hole in the second round with a seven-iron. Stenson aced the hole in the third round, measuring at 175 yards, with a seven-iron. Couples aced the 13th hole in the final round, when it played at 159 yards. The four holes-in-one were the most in tournament history, breaking the previous mark of three set in 1999 and 2000. It was the first time since the 2002 Buick Classic that four aces were recorded in the same tournament.

Tom Kite holds the record for the most cuts made with 23 at this event. Tom Watson ranks second with 21 cuts made. Watson and Nick Price are tied with the most career top-10 finishes with nine. In 2005, Jay Haas made his 28th start at this event, tying him with Kite and Ben Crenshaw. Haas has six top-10s, including four at the TPC Sawgrass (1986, 1996, 2003-04). Haas won the Senior Players Championship last year and is in the field this week for his record 29th start. His son, Bill, is also in the field. They will become the first father-son combination to compete at this event in the same year.

In 2005, Funk became the oldest winner ever at this event when he came from four shots back in the final round to defeat Tom Lehman, Luke Donald and Scott Verplank by one shot. Funk -- 48 years, nine months and 18 days old when he won -- closed with a final round, one-under 71 to finish the event at nine- under- par 279. Sutton (41 years, 10 months, 28 days) had been the oldest PLAYERS Champion, winning in 2000.

During the third round in 2005, Bob Tway recorded a 12 on the 17th hole, the highest score in tournament history on the island green. Tway knocked four balls into the water, unseating Robert Gamez who posted an 11 in 1990.

In 2004, Adam Scott became the youngest winner in the history of this event at 23 years, eight months and 12 days. Couples had been the youngest champion when he won in 1984 at 24 years, five months and 28 days. Couples will make his 27th start this week, putting him in fourth place on the all-time start list. In his previous appearances, Couples has made the cut 17 times.

Davis Love III joined a very select group when he captured the 2003 event. With his wins in 1992 and 2003, Love's name was added to the list of multiple winners, joining Steve Elkington, Couples, Jack Nicklaus and Sutton. Nicklaus is a three-time champion, winning in 1974, 76 and 78; Sutton won in 1983 and 2000; Couples in 1984 and 96, and Elkington in 1991 and 97. Elkington is the only player to birdie the final hole for victory when he captured the event in 1991. Mark Hayes and Nicklaus own the highest winning score in tournament history (289), Hayes in 1977 and Nicklaus in 1978.

When Craig Perks captured the 2002 title, he joined Sutton (1983) and Nicklaus (1974) as the only players to win in their first appearance at this event. Perks also became the first player to make this event his first PGA Tour title.

Only three PLAYERS Championships have been decided in playoffs. In 1981, Raymond Floyd defeated Barry Jaeckel and Curtis Strange on the first extra hole; in 1987, Sandy Lyle parred the third playoff hole to defeat Jeff Sluman and Garcia parred the first playoff hole in 2008 to defeat Goydos.

The TPC Sawgrass, designed by Pete Dye, has hosted this event 28 consecutive years. The tournament was first held in 1974 at Atlanta Country Club, followed by Colonial Country Club and Inverray Golf and Country Club prior to its move to the Jacksonville area. Sawgrass Country Club hosted the tournament from 1977-81.

THE PLAYERS Stadium course was refurbished to create faster conditions prior to the 2007 championship. The fairways were stripped and layers of sand were added to help with drainage. The greens were rebuilt with sub-air systems underneath to assist with hydration and water removal in wet conditions. The original clubhouse was torn down and a larger building was constructed, as well as a new practice facility. In addition, the course was lengthened 117 yards.

The PGA Tour travels to the Lone Star State next week, as San Antonio, Texas will host the Valero Texas Open, where Zach Johnson has won the last two seasons. TPC San Antonio's AT&T Oaks Course will host the event for the first time.

05/04 15:16:42 ET

As of May 4, 2010, at 03:17 PM ET