Players Championship 2024 Each-way Tips: Picks from 50/1 to 66/1

American golfer Sahith Theegala
Sahith Theegala is Dave's headline pick

The PGA Tour stays in Florida for its flagship event and Dave Tindall has three each-way bets for the action at TPC Sawgrass...

  • 50/151.00 Sahith Theegala continues to thrive in 2024

  • 66/167.00 Byeong Hun An has lots of relevant formlines

  • 66/167.00 Tom Hoge has superb SG: Approach numbers

  • It certainly didn't look that way for the first couple of months of the season when surprise winners kept popping up but going into this year's Players Championship there's a feeling that we have a dominant World No.1 again.

    Scottie Scheffler won last year's Players Championship by five strokes and he returns to defend the title after leaving his rivals for dead - again by five shots - in last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

    Now there seems to be separation in what had developed into a three-way battle at the top of the world rankings.

    Rory McIlroy has underwhelmed on the PGA Tour so far in 2024 with finishes of 66-24-21-21 while Jon Rahm has been lost to the rankings-free zone that is LIV.

    For the record, Rahm has teed it up in four LIV events so far this season. His results as he passes time before next month's Masters defence: 3-8-5-8.

    Rahm's absence, along with that of fellow LIV defectors Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Joaquin Niemann and others, at least kills that long-standing argument that The Players Championship should be seen as the 'fifth major'. It simply can't be right now.

    Still, this remains a huge tournament and Pete Dye's TPC Sawgrass - a 7,275-yard par 72 - is one of the iconic courses in pro golf.

    This is the 50th edition of the tour's flagship event and if you want to find a reason to oppose Scheffler, no champion has ever made a successful defence.

    The winner of this battle over Bermuda grass bags a cool $4.5m.

    Back Sahith Theegala @ 50/151.00

    If a player had two missed cuts out of two at the US Masters I'd be a little concerned.

    Those destined to play well at Augusta National tend to show their hand early and strong course form emerges quickly and carries on.

    But at TPC Sawgrass, course form is all over the place.

    Take Rory McIlroy. He started his career here with three missed cuts but then went 8-6-8. He won it in 2019 but has failed to make the weekend in two out of three visits since.

    Jordan Spieth posted fourth on debut before missing his next three cuts while Xander Schauffele has form here of 2-MC-MC-MC-19.

    And how about the main man himself, Scottie Scheffler. He highlights the point perfectly. A missed cut on his 2021 debut, 55th in 2022 and a winner by five in 2023.

    Which is all a long-winded way of saying I'm not put off by Sahith Theegala's previous Players record of MC-MC.

    Instead, let's look at all the positives surrounding one of the Tour's shiny emerging talents.

    Theegala is enjoying an excellent 2024 so far. A runner-up at the season-opening Sentry, he added a 20th at Pebble Beach before landing a top five at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    Last week he closed with a 68 to begin his Florida Swing with a sixth place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That gave him figures of 6-74-14-7 in his last four Florida starts.

    A huge reason for the 26-year-old's leap in current form which includes a victory at the Fortinet Championship last September is his improved driving.

    He talks about it a lot, we see it with our own eyes and the numbers back it up.

    Scroll back through his Strokes Gained: Off The Tee stats over the last couple of seasons and it's an obvious weakness. It was costing him.

    But this season Theegala was ranked 13th for OTT at The Sentry, 4th at Torrey Pines, 16th in Phoenix, 25th at Riviera and 5th at Bay Hill last week.

    On the season-long stats he's now 29th, a massive jump from 134th in the previous campaign. And it's that improvement with the driver which will stand him in good stead for a third crack at TPC Sawgrass

    Theegala has positive figures in all Strokes Gained categories this season and ranks 12th for SG: Total. That's the sort of robust package you want for this course.

    Some extras? He has a second (2022 Travelers Championship) and a fifth (2023 Heritage) on two other Pete Dye layouts, River Highlands and Harbour Town, while his three big finishes this year (second, fifth and sixth) all came on Bermuda greens.

    A final note on Theegala's MC-MC course form. Cam Davis was sixth last year after missing his first two cuts here while, sticking with Florida, Shane Lowry was third at Bay Hill last week after previous course form there of MC-MC-MC-MC-67.

    If you're in form, course history can be ripped up. Back Theegala at 50s.

    Back Sahith Theegala each-way @ 50/151.00

    Bet now

    Back Byeong Hun An @ 66/167.00

    This is quite a start to the season for Byeong Hun An.

    A tied eighth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational made it five top 25s in seven 2024 starts and his three top 10s include second at the Sony Open and fourth at The Sentry.

    Only three players found more greens in regulation than the Korean at Bay Hill while for the second tournament running he ranked 7th for SG: Off The Tee.

    As with Theegala, he's certainly got current form covered.

    His course form doesn't leap off the page although three top 35s in his last four Sawgrass starts is decent. As is 10 of his last 14 rounds here being under par.

    An opening 66 put him third on the leaderboard in 2019 while he was 17th at halfway last year having not made the starting line up in either 2020 or 2022.

    Past Florida form includes a win at the Korn Ferry's Suncoast Classic in 2022, a pair of top fives at the Honda and that eighth at Bay Hill on Sunday.

    He's had top 10s at four different Pete Dye tracks - Austin, TPC Louisiana, Harbour Town, PGA West Stadium - while his performances on Bermuda greens are excellent.

    An's last seven starts on such surfaces show two second places, a fourth and an eighth.

    One of the runner-up finishes came in the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield last August and, as Steve Rawlings notes, six players have won both there and at TPC Sawgrass in recent times.

    With form in lots of the ideal areas (current, correlating, Bermuda and Florida), An looks a bet at 66s.

    Back Byeong Hun An each-way @ 66/167.00

    Bet now

    Back Tom Hoge @ 66/167.00

    At the top end of the market, a saver on Scheffler at 11/26.50 wouldn't be the worst play.

    The other one I like in the top dozen is Max Homa at 28/129.00. He was eighth at Bay Hill and likes this tough test at Sawgrass as shown by sixth last year and 13th in 2022.

    At a three-figure price, Erik Van Rooyen catches the eye. The South African has been second (Cognizant) and 25th (Arnold Palmer) in the first two Florida Swing events and he finished 13th on debut here 12 months ago.

    But when crunching the numbers, the one I can't overlook is Tom Hoge.

    Hoge has ranked 1st for SG: Approach in two of his last three events (Genesis and Arnold Palmer) and is 1st on the season-long SGA stats too.

    The last four Sawgrass winners were ranked 4th, 5th, 5th and 6th for SG: Approach so it's a big factor here.

    That prowess with the irons should make Hoge a good fit and the theory turns into reality when looking at his course record.

    The 2022 Pebble Beach winner shot par or better in 11 of his 12 rounds form 2019 to 2022 and recorded form of 30-22-33.

    Last year he started slowly but fuelled by a sensational third-round 62, Hoge stayed on strong to finish third.

    He said after that course-record lap: "I feel like it's a golf course that's always suited me really well, just being that distance isn't as important; get the ball in play and then it's kind of a second-shot golf course. I feel like I should play well when I come here.

    "So I think it really favours the guys whose games are sharp and it tests all areas of your game."

    He arrives at this year's Players on a run of five straight top 30s which include sixth at Pebble and 12th at last week's Arnold Palmer. In other words, 'sharp'.

    Also a runner-up at the 2022 American Express (another Pete Dye), Hoge has the attributes to get in the mix at 66s.

    Back Tom Hoge each-way @ 66/167.00

    Bet now

    Now read Steve Rawlings' preview of The Players Championship!

Dave's P/L for 2024

Staked: £270
Returned: £84
P/L: -£186

2022/2023 P/L: -£191.44
2021/2022 P/L: -£315.35
2020/2021 P/L: +£1475.87
2019/2020 P/L: +£13.83
2018/2019 P/L: -£338.25
2017/2018 P/L: +£362.84
2016/2017 P/L: +£1179.89

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