Expert Picks for THE PLAYERS Championship
Geoff Ogilvy [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #157
Based on the leaderboards of recent seasons it would be fair to wonder if we have Ogilvy ranked a bit high for the week. This season it's justified with Ogilvy displaying an improved sense of consistency and finishes against top fields that match. He's one of the best values in the game right now.
Allenby is quietly plodding through another respectable season, but this may be his week to break out and compete for some crystal. He came in second at the TPC Sawgrass last season, leaving a small pool of worry about recent woes as the only obstacle between here and the top ten.
Tiger Woods [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #1
Tiger continues to fall down our ranks as The Masters continues to look like one of few tourneys you can target him with during the early Tour season. He has a win from THE PLAYERS on the board, but it is well out of sight in the rearview mirror. The recent injury woes shouldn't be taken lightly either.
Dustin Johnson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #13
DJ should probably rank higher than 16, but the field for this particular week -- one of the best non-major events of the season -- is stout; so are Johnson's struggles for reliable play. He's a bit shaky for our blood, but you can bet he's on our radar when we consider potential surprises.
Paul Casey [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #100
Casey has become one of the most conflicting figures in the game. We want him to play more, but more importantly, we want that top game to come to the floor. He has been a bit up and down and, to be frank, the downs aren't so damaging. He's a solid option despite his lack of activity.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #2
Scott is quickly becoming one of our favorite targets of the season. Most owners will discount his services due to the undeniable failures of recent seasons, but Scott has been on the mark on several occasions this season. Review his body of work at the TPC Sawgrass and you may be buying in as well.
Hunter Mahan [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #34
Mahan should, by accounts relying on talent and play we've seen this season, be ranked much higher. However, his history on this particular track is both shallow and troublesome. He has struggled much more than he has surged at the TPC Sawgrass and with that we are humbling expectations.
Tim Clark [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #121
Clark is the defending champ, but we are tempted to remove him from the list in full. He has been troubled in getting on the course at all this season, hampered by an injury to his right elbow. As the defending champ he is in our thoughts, but we would bet you won't be rushing to pick him up.
Alvaro Quiros [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #119
Quiros has become one of the favorites among those who prefer to wager on sleepers at these events. He goes long, he putts, but best of all, he seems to relish in the spotlight of tourneys touting the game's elite. He played well here last season and we expect he'll show well again in 2011.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #5
Since we've hit the portion of the rankings targeting young bashers, Day has transformed his game into form that should match nicely with the TPC Sawgrass. He has struggled to qualify for this event in the past, but this season he could be considered one of the dark-horse favorites.
Ernie Els [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #41
Els seemed to be working towards a season of rejuvenation early on, but his recent outings have left us wanting more. He has been a regular at this event and knows this course as well as anyone, but we would lean more toward momentum than respect this week.
Retief Goosen [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #122
Goosen has been one of our annual starters for this event, but the failures of last season (and the inability to get in the hunt for oversized checks this year) have us jumping off the boat and swimming for more promising options. His history demands consideration, but we warn of potential heartache.