Players Championship 2013: Underdogs to Watch at TPC Sawgrass

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IMay 7, 2013

AVONDALE, LA - APRIL 28:  Billy Horschel reacts after making a putt for birdie on the 18th hole during the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana on April 28, 2013 in Avondale, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The 2013 Players Championship tees off on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The favorites this year are (in order) Tiger Woods, Masters champion Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Phil Mickelson, according to Bovada.

But there are plenty of contenders in a deep field, including a couple of guys who have had success at TPC Sawgrass.

Here's a look at the underdogs I see contending this year at the tournament.


Matt Kuchar (28/1)

It's a bit surprising that Matt Kuchar isn't a bit higher in the odds. While he's coming off a 35th-place finish at the RBC Heritage, he also placed eighth at the Masters and he's the reigning champion at the Players Championship.

Last year, Kuchar posted a 13-under-par 275 at TPC Sawgrass, scoring better than a 70 in each of his first three rounds of the tournament. He putted phenomenally. He placed in the top 15 in 2009 and 2010.

This year, Kuchar ranks 34th on tour in putting (strokes gained), 19th in sand save percentage and 16th in scoring average, via


Billy Horschel (40/1)

Billy Horschel has posted four top-10 finishes in his last four tournaments, including a win at the Zurich Classic in late April. He's displayed a well-rounded game, ranked 14th on tour in putting, 24th in greens-in-regulation percentage, second in birdies per round and 11th in scoring average, via

This may be Horschel's first appearance at the Players Championship, but he's on a roll right now, coming off his first win of the campaign.


Henrik Stenson (50/1)

Henrik Stenson, the 2009 Players Championship winner, placed eighth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and second at the Houston Open before placing 18th at the Masters and missing the cut at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The 37-year-old is ranked third in driving accuracy and first in greens-in-regulation percentage, but he's probably going to have to putt well to win at TPC Sawgrass. Then again, he didn't putt well at the Arnold Palmer Invitational or the Houston Open and placed well at those events.


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