The Players Championship is widely regarded as one of the most respected non-major events in golf and is absolutely an event you will not want to miss.
While Tiger Woods will not be able to defend his title due to his recovery from back surgery, there are still plenty of exciting reasons to watch this event.
A plethora of the game's brightest stars will be shining at Sawgrass, and it should be extremely interesting to observe them compete for this coveted championship. Let's take a look at where you can catch all the action, how you can live stream the tournament, highlight a golfer to keep an eye on and more.
When: Thursday, May 8, through Sunday, May 11
Where: The Players Stadium Course (TPC Sawgrass) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
|Thursday, May 8||3-7 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|Friday, May 9||3-7 p.m.||Golf Channel|
|Saturday, May 10||1-2:30 p.m., 3-6 p.m.||Golf Channel, CBS|
|Sunday, May 11||1-2:30 p.m., 3-6 p.m.||Golf Channel, CBS|
Tee Times: For a complete list of tee times for the first two rounds, visit PGATOUR.com.
Purse: $10 million; Winner's Share: $1.8 million
FedEx Cup Points: 600
Golfer to Watch: Rory McIlroy
McIlroy has to come through with a solid performance at The Players Championship if he is going to turn his season around and start winning big tournaments again.
The young Irishman has been in contention for most of the sport's notable events this year, but he's yet to achieve a victory in any of his seven PGA Tour events this year. He recently tied for eighth at the Masters but wasn't truly in the hunt to capture a green jacket at Augusta.
He recorded that same placement at Quail Hollow this past weekend in the Wells Fargo Championship and tied for seventh at the Shell Houston Open prior to the Masters in early April.
McIlroy's only brush with victory this year was at the Honda Classic. The 25-year-old, who recently celebrated his birthday on May 4, fell short in a one-hole playoff to tie for second.
Jason Sobel of the Golf Channel did point out the silver lining for the emerging star:
Rory McIlroy turns 25 today. Solid quarter-century. One of four players since 1930 with two majors before 25. Others? Jack, Seve and Tiger.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) May 4, 2014
This string of top-10 results but lack of victories is starting to grind the gears of this former U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner, who described them as "back-door" finishes to the Associated Press (via Golf.com):
I'm in the top 10 every week and it is fine, it's whatever. But it's not wins.
It's another solid week. They're top 10s, but they're top 10s without getting in contention either. I don't want to back door and top 10 it every week. It's nice to pick up a nice paycheck but it doesn't really get the adrenaline going.
While he's not satisfied with his close calls, McIlroy did acknowledge he is steadily improving and should soon be right where he needs to in order to claim another title, as per the AP:
"It's not really what I want but it's going in the right direction," McIlroy said. "I'm improving a little bit each week. Hopefully one of these weeks it will all come together."
How will Rory fare at The Players Championship?
It appears that McIlroy might just be able to tie everything together this coming weekend to earn his first-ever victory at The Players Championship. He's been installed as the odds-on favorite by the bookmakers at OddsShark.com and appears to be poised to do well at Sawgrass.
The course is favorable to his skill set, as McIlroy excels at knocking in long putts and will find many opportunities to use the 3-wood. All signs point to at least another top-10 finish, but it will not satisfy this young superstar.
Expect him to go all out this weekend and look for a victory at the expense of everything else. He shouldn't play it safe, and there will be some exciting moments stemming from Rory's bravery at The Players.