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The Players Championship: A Fan’s Preview

Yahoo Contributor Network

The PGA Tour moves to Florida for the Players Championship on the stadium course at TPC Sawgrass. The players take great pride in their tournament, as they should. The field for the Players Championship is always one of the strongest of the year. This perhaps is due to the fact that the tournament has the largest purse of the year. The strength of the field at the Players Championship also lends credence to its status as the unofficial fifth major.

Let's take a quick look at the field for the 2012 Players Championship. Nine of the top 10 players in the world golf rankings will be competing. Nine of the top 10 players in the race for the FedEx Cup will be playing. Nine of the top 10 players on the PGA Tour money list are entered. The only player missing on all three lists is Bubba Watson. That is a shame, but Watson is taking some time off after his Masters title to enjoy his new son. Most of us would take some time off from work if we could, but we might use that time to play golf.

Players to Watch

Rory McIlroy has to be among the favorites at the 2012 Players Championship. Once again atop the world golf rankings, McIlroy has played very well and very consistently. I think Rory will play well this week. Of course I thought McIlroy would play well at the Masters too.

Lee Westwood has also played well of late. While the Englishman has never won a major title, he has typically played well in the big tournaments, especially recently. To breakthrough and win at the Players Championship would be a big boost for his confidence and would help in his quest for that elusive first major championship.

Tiger Woods is up and down like the stock market. I am not sure if even he knows what to expect at this tournament. After his win at Arnold Palmer's tournament, most thought that Tiger would once again prowl the leaderboard at the Masters. However, it was not to be and his missed cut at the Wells Fargo Championship was surprising.

Phil Mickelson won the 2007 title at TPC Sawgrass. However, his recent finishes at the Players Championship were not remarkable. If Phil brings his best game then he will definitely be in contention. In any case he should be focused because he will play with McIlroy during the first two rounds.

Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.

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