This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
The PGA Tour heads to Ponte Vedra Beach this week as the season's first major, uh, as the fifth major takes center, um, OK, it's not a major, but it's a pretty big deal. The Players shares more than a few characteristics with your typical major, which is why it's often considered on its own tier, just below the majors.
For starters, the field is just about as good as it gets. Everyone wants to play here and golfers rarely pass, like they might for a normal PGA Tour event or even a WGC event from time to time. Another similarity with three of the four majors is that no one owns this event. Sure, there are several golfers in the field with solid track records, but no player can claim that they've played well here year in and year out. That's a testament to how this course can play depending on the conditions and also speaks to the pressure golfers are under when in contention with the island green waiting. The 18th hole is no cake walk either, but we all know who the star is here.
The Players Championship – TPC Sawgrass
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Rory McIlroy (7-1)
If you are looking for someone who is almost guaranteed a spot in the top 5 this week, then McIlroy is your guy. If you