Players Championship 2012: Tee Times, Date and TV Schedule
K.J. Choi will attempt to defend his Players Championship title against a talented field that features Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and many more of the world's other top golfers. Outside of the majors, it's always one of the most anticipated events of the golf season.
The marquee tournament will be held at TPC Sawgrass, home of one of the sport's most famous holes. The island 17th makes any trip to the clubhouse an adventure, especially when tensions are running high on Sunday afternoon.
As always, the biggest storyline will be Woods' performance. He missed the cut last weekend, but his play has been erratic for quite awhile now. The fan favorite could easily bounce right back with a strong showing this weekend.
Here's a look at all the key information for the Players.
Where: TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
When: Thursday, May 10 - Sunday, May 13
Notable Groupings for Opening Two Rounds (All Times ET)
|8:39 a.m.||1:49 p.m.||Rickie Fowler||Hunter Mahan||Tiger Woods|
|1:39 p.m.||8:29 a.m.||Luke Donald||Bill Haas||Lee Westwood|
|1:49 p.m.||8:39 a.m.||Rory McIlroy||Phil Mickelson||Steve Stricker|
|8:29 a.m.||1:39 p.m.||Louis Oosthuizen||Jason Day||Ian Poulter|
|8:29 a.m.||1:39 p.m.||Webb Simpson||Keegan Bradley||Matt Kuchar|
Full list of tee times for the first two rounds are available at PGATour.com.
|Round 1||May 10||1 - 7 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|Round 2||May 11||1 - 7 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|Round 3||May 12||12 - 2 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|2 - 7 p.m.||NBC|
|Round 4||May 13||12 - 2 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|2 - 7 p.m.||NBC|
Golfers to Watch
Will Woods make the cut?
Woods faces a turning-point week after missing just the eighth cut of his storied career last week. If he can get right back on track it will provide him with the confidence to finish the season strong. If he can't, the outlook will be as uncertain as ever.
He's only won this tournament once and that was all the way back in 2001. It's not exactly the best course for somebody still working through kinks in a swing, but as Woods illustrated at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he can turn at any moment.
There are really two sides of Donald. One of them shows up to big tournaments and struggles to make the cut while the other one goes to minor events and looks like the No. 1 player. That lack of consistency has become a mental hurdle.
Even though the Players isn't a major, most of the top names will be teeing it up. It's the perfect opportunity for Donald to step up and show his elite form. That said, it's tough to have any confidence he'll be able to do that based on past performance.
It's actually been a pretty successful year for Mickelson so far with a win and four top-10 finishes, but you wouldn't know it because the focus has been on other storylines. That probably doesn't bother him, though, since he's always seemed to fly under the radar.
He returned from a month after the Masters to finish in 26th last week. He did show some improvement on the weekend, which should set him up for a strong run at the Players. Mickelson won the tournament back in 2007.
Who will win the Players?
Prediction: Rory McIlroy
McIlroy reclaimed his spot atop the rankings with his second-place finish last week, passing the aforementioned Donald in the process. Aside from another weekend meltdown at the Masters, the Northern Irishman hasn't finished outside the top five.
With Woods taking a step back, McIlroy has taken over as the player who can't be beat when he's playing his best. He didn't play the Players after missing the cut in 2010, however, so he faces a difficult test this week.
All told, it's hard to pick against him right now. He's a star on the rise and wants to prove he can dominate the sport like legends of the past have been able to do. Picking up another key win will keep him on the path to make that happen.
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