Welcome to Playing the Field, where we survey the key players and stories at each tournament, giving you the guys to watch and the stories to know. Today, we're off to Ponte Vedra and the majesty of the full field! Players time, friends, Players time. Here's whom to watch this week:
Tiger Woods. Of course. You couldn't avoid him if you tried. But he's got a rocky road ahead of him; he hasn't finished higher than eighth here since winning in 2001, and that's when he was playing some of his best golf. Good luck, Tiger. You're going to need it.
Phil Mickelson. All eyes will be on Mickelson this week as he makes his charge at #1 in the world rankings. History has shown that Mickelson tends to fumble the ball the more time he has to think about it, so I'd be very surprised to see him take this one. Well, not "very" surprised. Mildly surprised.
Ernie Els. His early-season wins are a distant memory, but thanks to them he's tops in both money and FedEx points this year. For him, this is one of those make-or-break tournaments, in which he can define the rest of his year by putting a whooping on the rest of the field.
Rory McIlroy. First PGA Tour win, final-round 62. What's he do for an encore? Well, considering the fact that last year he expressed surprise that Sawgrass played so differently from the video game version, I wouldn't expect a whole lot.
Henrik Stenson. He's the defending champion, but you knew that already, didn't you? A good pick here, as he's played four times and carded three top-10s.
Fred Couples, Anthony Kim, Steve Stricker. Don't start them on your fantasy team this week, as none of them is playing. Shame, because all three are having very good seasons, with Kim and Couples really carrying momentum.
All right, your turn. Who's your pick this weekend? Go!