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Players Championship 2013 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Thursday

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Players Championship 2013 Tee Times: Pairings and Predictions for Thursday
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TPC Sawgrass represents 7,215 yards of terror for players on the PGA Tour. Golf Digest ranked the site of The Players Championship as the seventh-toughest course in the United States.

As the 2013 event gets set to begin on Thursday, May 9, we can only wait to see who will tame the monster in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and who will be humbled by its difficulty.

What's at stake?

There are 600 FedExCup points available to the winner. Tiger Woods is the current leader with 1,740 points, but there are two golfers (Brandt Snedeker and Billy Horschel) who are less than 600 points behind Tiger.

Needless to say, winning the event could produce a major move in the FedExCup standings.

The total purse for the event is $9,500,000, but the winner's share is $1,710,000.

Here are the tee times, first-round pairings and predictions for Thursday's action. The sections are divided by tee. The first and 10th tee have a morning and afternoon set of players beginning their day.

 

Per PGATour.com (all times ET).

TPC Sawgrass Tee No. 1
Group  Time Players
1 7:15 am USA-Matteson, Troy USA-Teater, Josh USA-Kokrak, Jason
2 7:26 am USA-Maggert, Jeff USA-McGirt, William USA-Harman, Brian
3 7:36 am AUS-Day, Jason USA-Campbell, Chad USA-Wittenberg, Casey
4 7:47 am USA-Wilson, Mark USA-Molder, Bryce USA-Toms, David
5 7:57 am USA-Stallings, Scott USA-Glover, Lucas USA-Leonard, Justin
6 8:08 am USA-Points, D.A. USA-Streelman, Kevin RSA-Clark, Tim
7 8:18 am USA-Ernst, Derek RSA-Oosthuizen, Louis ARG-Cabrera, Angel
8 8:29 am USA-Gay, Brian USA-Henley, Russell SWE-Stenson, Henrik
9 8:39 am USA-Merrick, John USA-Johnson, Zach AUS-Ogilvy, Geoff
10 8:50 am USA-Beljan, Charlie USA-O'Hair, Sean USA-Van Pelt, Bo
11 9:00 am USA-Pride, Dicky USA-Barnes, Ricky USA-Compton, Erik
12 9:11 am USA-Rollins, John AUS-Senden, John USA-Lee, Richard H.

 

Most Intriguing Pairing

Points, Streelman and Clark

D.A. Points

The group teeing off at 8:08 a.m. is the one that jumps out from the morning session on the first tee. D.A. Points (seventh) and Kevin Streelman (fifth) are both in the top 10 in the FedExCup standings.

Tim Clark is only 29th, but he has two top-10 finishes so far this season. Points got off to a rough start this year; he missed seven of the first nine cuts he faced in tournaments.

He has rebounded in the last month with three top-five finishes, including a win at the Shell Houston Open. He and Streelman were sharp in their last outing. 

They finished 16th and sixth, respectively, at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. Of the three, Clark performed the best in The Players Championship in 2012, though.

Points didn't compete, Streelman was tied for 51st, but Clark was a respectable three under for the tournament. That was good for a tie for 25th place. He also won the event in 2010 to capture his first PGA Tour victory.

Will the Americans with the hot hand fare better, or will the South African with better recent history outshine them?

 

Player Most Likely to Shine on Thursday

Lucas Glover

The 33-year-old from Greenville, S.C., has been playing very well lately, especially on the first day of tournaments. He shot out of the gate with a 65 at the Zurich Classic and a 68 at the Wells Fargo Championship.

He didn't win either tournament, but he's a good bet to start strong at TPC Sawgrass.


TPC Sawgrass Tee No. 10
Group  Time Players
13 7:15 am USA-Duke, Ken USA-Guthrie, Luke RSA-Grace, Branden
14 7:26 am ITA-Molinari, Francesco USA-Tringale, Cameron SWE-Hanson, Peter
15 7:36 am USA-Bohn, Jason USA-Walker, Jimmy USA-Castro, Roberto
16 7:47 am USA-Crane, Ben AUS-Baddeley, Aaron USA-Kelly, Jerry
17 7:57 am USA-McNeill, George USA-Stanley, Kyle USA-Steele, Brendan
18 8:08 am USA-Fowler, Rickie USA-Mahan, Hunter USA-Furyk, Jim
19 8:18 am NIR-McDowell, Graeme USA-Bradley, Keegan USA-Watson, Bubba
20 8:29 am USA-Horschel, Billy USA-Johnson, Dustin USA-Els, Ernie
21 8:39 am USA-Scott, Adam NIR-McIlroy, Rory USA-Stricker, Steve
22 8:50 am USA-Gainey, Tommy USA-Huh, John AUS-Allenby, Robert
23 9:00 am USA-Weekley, Boo ARG-Romero, Andres SWE-Lingmerth, David
24 9:11 am AUS-Jones, Matt ENG-Davis, Brian USA-Thompson, Nicholas

 

Most Intriguing Pairing

Scott, McIlroy and Stricker

Rory McIlroy during TPC preview

Any group that includes the current Masters champion and Rory will be hard to beat out for attention. Even though Stricker has seen his better days pass, he still mustered a respectable 20th-place finish at Augusta.

Neither Scott nor Stricker has played on the PGA Tour since Augusta, but McIlroy has been working to break through this season. He's yet to capture a win, but he does have three top-10 finishes.

Among the them was a second-place finish at the Valero Texas Open in April. He was tied for 10th last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. 

In 2012, only Scott played well at TPC Sawgrass. Both McIlroy and Stricker missed the cut, while Scott finished tied for 15th at five-under for the tournament.

 

Player Most Likely to Shine on Thursday

Scott

Despite coming off a win at the Masters, Scott also played this course well in 2012. His best day was his first when he produced a four-under 68.

He's playing with confidence now, so another solid first round seems logical.


TPC Sawgrass Tee No. 1

Group

 Time Players
25 12:25 pm USA-Mathis, David USA-Daley, Joe
26 12:36 pm USA-Chappell, Kevin USA-Summerhays, Daniel
27 12:46 pm KOR-Wi, Charlie USA-Every, Matt USA-Knost, Colt
28 12:57 pm USA-Byrd, Jonathan KOR-Yang, Y.E. USA-Cink, Stewart
29 1:07 pm USA-Potter, Jr., Ted RSA-Sabbatini, Rory IRL-Harrington, Padraig
30 1:18 pm ENG-Poulter, Ian USA-Watney, Nick ENG-Westwood, Lee
31 1:28 pm USA-Mickelson, Phil USA-Simpson, Webb ENG-Rose, Justin
32 1:39 pm ESP-Garcia, Sergio ENG-Donald, Luke KOR-Choi, K.J.
33 1:49 pm USA-Woods, Tiger USA-Kuchar, Matt USA-Snedeker, Brandt
34 2:00 pm USA-Henry, J.J. USA-Garrigus, Robert FIJ-Singh, Vijay
35 2:10 pm KOR-Bae, Sang-Moon USA-Stuard, Brian CAN-DeLaet, Graham
36 2:21 pm USA-Estes, Bob USA-Gillis, Tom USA-English, Harris
37 2:31 pm USA-Overton, Jeff USA-Cauley, Bud ZIM-de Jonge, Brendon

 

Most Intriguing Pairing

Woods, Kuchar, Snedeker

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Matt Kuchar

Which star will have the best round on Thursday?

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The afternoon session on the first tee will be packed with stars. But one group is clearly the one to watch. Tiger is paired with the defending champion in the event in Kuchar and the man that sits behind him in the FedExCup standings in Snedeker.

Some aspect of this trio could easily be paired together on the final day as well.

Most of the talk around Woods has been centered on his failure to win a major, but we can easily take for granted just how good he's been this season.

He has three wins, he finished fourth at the Masters and hasn't missed a cut. Tiger is playing really well and should be a force at TPC Sawgrass.

Kuchar won last year's event with a stellar and consistent 13-under-par score for the tournament. He's been pretty solid this season with three top-10 finishes. 

Snedeker has been tough to figure out. He's either been really good or really bad. He's missed two cuts and had a 59th-place finish at the RBC Heritage Classic. However, he also won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and had four other top-10 finishes.

Which Snedeker will show up for The Players Championships?

 

Player Most Likely to Shine on Thursday

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

Mickleson played pretty well at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. He seemed to find a nice rhythm. Lefty finished third in the event, but he was consistent throughout.

I think his solid play will carry over to this tournament—at least in the first round of play.


TPC Sawgrass Tee No. 10
Group Time Players
38 12:25 pm USA-Howell III, Charles USA-Driscoll, James AUS-Chalmers, Greg
39 12:36 pm DEN-Olesen, Thorbjorn ESP-Fdez-Castano, Gonzalo USA-Flores, Martin
40 12:46 pm USA-Hoffman, Charley USA-Palmer, Ryan KOR-Noh, Seung-Yul
41 12:57 pm SWE-Blixt, Jonas AUS-Leishman, Marc USA-Wagner, Johnson
42 1:07 pm USA-Curtis, Ben RSA-Goosen, Retief USA-Love III, Davis
43 1:18 pm USA-Haas, Bill GER-Kaymer, Martin SWE-Jacobson, Freddie
44 1:28 pm USA-Moore, Ryan SWE-Pettersson, Carl USA-Dufner, Jason
45 1:39 pm USA-Thompson, Michael USA-Kirk, Chris RSA-Schwartzel, Charl
46 1:49 pm SCT-Laird, Martin USA-Brown, Scott USA-Piercy, Scott
47 2:00 pm USA-Herron, Tim USA-Perez, Pat USA-Hahn, James
48 2:10 pm ENG-Owen, Greg CAN-Hearn, David USA-Claxton, Will
49 2:21 pm USA-Stroud, Chris ENG-Lynn, David USA-Stadler, Kevin

 

Most Intriguing Pairing

Davis Love III

Consider the afternoon session from the 10th tee as the group most likely to produce a sleeper. None of the names jump out as players who are currently elite, but the Curtis-Goosen-Love III pairing could be interesting.

In the bigger tournaments, there always seems to be a player about 10 years past his prime that contends for three and sometimes all four days.

This pairing could produce that presence at The Players Championship in 2013.

DL III has won the event twice, but he has barely played this year. Goosen has twice won the U.S. Open, but his 2013 outings have rendered only one top-10 finish.

Curtis is the youngest of the group and the least accomplished. He's missed more cuts than he's made in 2013, and he's won only three times since he won the British Open in 2003.

But that's why they call them sleepers.

 

Player Most Likely to Shine on Thursday

Marc Leishman

Leishman has been playing well this season with three top-10 finishes. What I've noticed most about him in recent tournaments is his growing confidence and poise. 

He was in contention for all four days at the Masters and the experience will serve him well. This could be a breakout performance for him.


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