Players Championship: Preview, Field and TV Coverage

Carlos TorresContributor IMay 7, 2012

K.J. Choi is the defending champ.
K.J. Choi is the defending champ.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The 39th edition of The Players Championship starts this next Thursday from the Stadium Course on the TPC at Sawgrass.

The whole par-72 7,220-yards course is ready to host the full 144-player field. And everyone will be dreading the beautiful, yet scary, signature par-three 17th hole known as the "Island Green."

K.J. Choi is back to defend his title and he will have as usual a world-class field to challenge for the winner's share of the $9.5 million purse. This mean the winner would be pocketing a swift $1.71 million.

But for the players there is more than winning the tournament with the highest prize fund of any tournament in golf. Its about winning the unofficial fifth major. But even with the recognition, it's still far from being recognized as a major.

The top 50 players in the world are invited to the tournament, but among the ones that will not be here are the past two Masters champions, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwarztel. Also the reigning Open champ Darren Clarke will not be in the field.

It was also reported that two-time champ Fred Couples withdrew, citing illness.

But we will see among the three top players in the world battlong for the coveted trophy. Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood are not only going for the championship here, but for the No. 1 ranking in the world.

Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald have been swapping the world's No. 1 ranking the past three times they have played in a tournament. This would be one thing to watch as the top ranking can change hands once again.

Oh, yes, there's also former world's No. 1 Tiger Woods. He will put his inconsistent game to the tough test fresh off after missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship. He has one win here back in 2001.

Phil Mickelson was inducted to the Hall of Fame on Monday night. It's a great start of the week for the newest HOF member. Maybe he can follow it up with a win this weekend. He won it back in 2007.

Some other players to watch are FedEx Cup leader and two-time winner this year Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler fresh off his Wells Fargo win, and Jason Dufner who after knocking on the door of several tournaments finally won at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Another hot player to watch is recently rejuvenated 2003 Open Champ Ben Curtis. He's been playing great golf since his win at the Valero Texas Open.

Mark your calendars, below you'll find the full info you'll need about the tournament.


Full Player's Field and Tee Times

For the full field of players you can click here to see it directly on the web page.

Tee Times are ready and posted the day before tournament play begins. Once they are ready you can click here to see them on the web page as well.


TV Coverage (all times ET)

Day Time Channel
Thursday, May 10 1:00-7:00 p.m. Golf Channel
Friday, May 11 1:00-7:00 p.m. Golf Channel
Saturday, May 12

12:00-2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Golf Channel
Sunday, May 13 12:00-2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Golf Channel