Dubbing itself the "fifth major", the 2010 PLAYERS Championship gets underway on Thursday from the TPC Sawgrass in Ponta Vedra, FL. I'm not sure that you can even have a 5th major, much less one always played on a Pete Dye design that the word quirky only begins to describe. Regardless, it's always one of, if not the strongest field of the year, a field that makes the Masters look like a junior event.
As per usual here at Average Golfer, we'll handicap the upper portion of the field with a nod to Ladbrokes, our legal betting resource. Keep in mind that as of press time Steve Stricker and Anthony Kim were WDs. Unfortunate with them both being in the upper echelon. Still, the game goes on.
Tiger Woods, 6:1 - Ah, the power of the betting public to move the odds. Won't win. Top 10 would be considered good for the recovery effort.
Phil Mickelson, 8:1 - Should win on the heels of Masters win and last week's 2nd. He wins and Woods finishes worse than 5th and Phil's the new world #1.
Jim Furyk, 20:1 - Should have won here by now. It's his backyard for cryin' out loud! Could win.
Ernie Els, 20:1 - Having a great year. Lots of top tens and two wins. Could win.
Rory McIlroy, 20:1 - Fashionable pick. Had his 21st birthday today. Kids get over hangovers quickly. Could win, won't.
Lee Westwood, 25:1 - Needs to sneak one in eventually, right? Possible if he's figured out how to close an important tournament.
Padraig Harrington, 25:1 - If he's finally done fiddling with his game we may see the old Paddy. Could win.
Ian Poulter, 25:1 - One of my Masters picks. Just can't seem to avoid the odd bad round when it counts. Probably won't win.
Paul Casey, 33:1 - Of the Brits I prefer Donald on this course. Won't win.
Camilo Villegas, 40:1 - If they awarded style points..... Since they don't, won't win. Watch though, probably will be 2nd round leader.
Stenson, Mahan, Fowler, Watney, Cabrera, Choi, Donald, Ames, all at 50:1. Of the group I like Watney, Fowler, and Donald. Henrik Stenson defends. Those sure are long odds on a defending champion. May be worth a throw. Full field and tee times.
Don't blame me if you don't win. It's not like I held you down and forced money out of your hand. If you aren't a bettor, don't blame me either when these picks of pure genius come through.
Average Golfer's Picks
Dark Horse - Charl Schwartzel
Sentimental Pick - Couples