The Players Championship 2019 preview: Predictions, picks and upsets

Paola Ditto
Marzo 15, 2019

After following a three-putt at the 17th (his eighth) with an 18 footer for birdie at the first, the Clara man three putted the fourth and bogeyed the fifth but then made a 36 footer for a two at the 233-yard eighth before finishing with a par five. It carries the prestige and the purse to stack up to the PGA Tour's premier tournaments, and TPC Sawgrass, one of golf's iconic courses, provides the ideal backdrop for Tiger Woods and the sport's biggest stars up and down the leaderboard.

"You can only play yourself out of it in round one".

The Players Championship will this week field every player within the world's top 50, including big guns Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

"The wind picked up and there were some tough holes there", he said. "It's been different this year because I've been used to starting so fast but I feel like I've been doing a lot of good things and sometimes you just need a rhythm of shooting good scores and that seems like it's coming". I had a good week in Mexico and last week at Bay Hill [Arnold Palmer Invitational] was also a good week [he finished tied 23rd].

He believes a maiden PGA Tour win is within his grasp. But while he has enjoyed a string of high finishes on Tour - including a second place at last year's U.S. Open on the back of a Sunday 63 - Fleetwood has yet to lift a trophy in the United States. "I was waiting to try and find the ball on the green and I didn't see it, after I kind of heard it hit the pin".

This week's Players is Taylor's 11 start at the Tour's flagship event. "It's clearly the next step for me to win over here but winning's not easy and I've just got to keep plodding away", Fleetwood said. The past winners of this event, which was introduced and called the Tournament Players Championship until 1988, is a who's who of the game's greats.

He was in a greenside bunker in two shots, but took two attempts to get out of the sand, and three more to hole out.

Fleetwood birdied six of his last nine holes in an inward half of 30, just one shot outside the tournament record, to set an imposing clubhouse target of seven under par and enjoy a one-shot lead over Korea's Ben An and American Brian Harman.

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