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The Players Championship tips: Five outside bets for golf’s ‘fifth major’ – including a 125-1 shot

The 2020 Players Championship starts on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass. With one of the most recognisable holes in the world and a stellar list of former winners, it’s widely considered golf’s unofficial fifth major.

Tiger Woods is out injured this week, and reigning champion Rory McIlroy is deservedly the red hot favourite following a never-ending run of top-five finishes.

It’s difficult to look past Rory McIlroy
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The par-three 17th is one of the most iconic holes in golf
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But if you fancy a flutter, where is the value and who’s playing well?

Sawgrass is a supreme test and doesn’t really seem to suit any particular type of player, so it’s wide open.

We’re looking for players that have played well in The Florida Swing and control their ball well in the wind, as well as showing some form at Sawgrass.


Listen to The 2020 Players Championship on talkSPORT – coverage starts Thursday 10pm


Tommy Fleetwood – 22/1 – Winner/ Each Way

Tommy is one of the real form players on Tour at the moment – but because he’s still searching for his first win, he seems to have gone under the radar a bit.

He narrowly missed out at The Honda two weeks ago, where one bad shot cost him the tournament.

And the Brit missed the cut at The Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, which was probably a hangover from the week before.

We’re backing Fairway Jesus to bounce back at The Players and get his first PGA Tour win. But it’s more than just sentiment, until last week he hadn’t missed a cut in 31 events, he’s a pure ball striker, comfortable in the wind, and interestingly, he has the lowest score average of any player at Sawgrass over the last decade.

Come on Tommy!

Fleetwood fell just short at The Honda then missed the cut last week
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Sungjae Im – 28/1 – Top 10

Who? This 21-year-old South Korean is somehow shorter odds than world no. 1 Brooks Koepka. 

But while he may not be a household name, he’s in seriously good form at the moment, having won at The Honda two weeks ago.

After a win it can be difficult to keep top form going, however Im has played more events than anyone over the last year. He hasn’t bothered buying a house because he just goes from hotel to hotel every week.

For those not familiar with his game, his stats are very solid across the board, he hits lots of quality golf shots.

We think with his consistent ball striking and scoring – as well as his form in Florida – he’ll be in the mix this week. With four Top 10s this season and a win, a Top 10 finish is a great bet.

Im is about to take the world by storm
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Billy Horschel – 66/1 – Top 10

Billy Ho split from his manufacturer last week, and we think his odds may have drifted as a result. They needn’t have!

He’s testing some new clubs at the moment, but the 2014 FedEx Cup winner has the same bag set up ‘for now’.

The important thing is, he has two Top 10s in his last three starts, and he lives right next to Sawgrass in Ponta Vedra Beach.

The Players is his home event and he’ll be staying with his family in his own bed. We expect to see him pop up on the leaderboard this week.

Horschel has been written off by the bookies
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Harris English – 125/1 – Top 20/ First Round Leader

The bookies have this one wrong, surely. Three Top 20s in his last three starts points to a form player, and on Bermuda grass too.

Recent form is excellent, but crucially English is a phenomenal ball striker and his stats belie his world ranking.

If he is drawn in the morning starters on Thursday, he’s a shout for first round leader too.

Don’t be fooled by Harris’ world ranking
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Joel Dahmen – 125/1 – Top 20

It’s nice to have a long shot, but it’s better to have two!

We think this guy is great value this week, and while he may not win, don’t be surprised to see Joel Dahmen hang around the leaderboard this week.

He’s trending well recently and seems to be getting used to PGA Tour life. He had a T12 at The Players last year, and it was played in March rather than May, so we can see something there.

Importantly, he’s had five Top 20s so far this season, and last time out was at Riviera where he finished T5 on a tough course.

Dahmen’s performance last week earned him a place at The Open this summer
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