Players Championship 2020: Get the lowdown at Sawgrass with 10 places on offer

Rory McIlroy on the fairway
Justin Thomas is the value bet at the 2020 Players Championship says Jason Pettigrove
Join today
View market

Jason Pettigrove previews the 2020 Players Championship Outright Winners Market on the Betfair Sportsbook, and he believes that Jon Rahm can take Rory McIlroy all the way at Sawgrass.

"At a best price of 12/1 in the Sportsbook, Jon Rahm is nearest to McIlroy (13/2) in betting terms, and the Spaniard will certainly be keen to improve upon his 12th place showing in last year's tournament."

As the coronavirus decimates the world's sporting calendar, it's a wonder that the 2020 Players Championship is on at all, but Sawgrass's Stadium Course awaits and, frankly, golfing fans can't wait.

One of the PGA Tour's flagship events, the course has often been the great leveller in the past. Rory McIlroy comes into the tournament as the clear favourite, but plenty before him have come unstuck on the Pete Dye-designed 18 holes.

Not since 1974 has any player ever gone bogey-free in all four rounds, and that will offer encouragement to the challengers for the northern Irishman's title.

It's true that McIlroy is in good form, having finished in the top five in his last seven consecutive tournaments, however, it's worth noting that out of those, he only has one victory.

His recent rounds have been littered with bogeys too, and if there's any hint of not being able to rid himself of those errors at Sawgrass, there's every chance that others in the field will cash in.

The difficulty of playing the final three holes has often seen tournament leadership change hands, and with no two consecutive holes following the same direction, it remains a challenging course.

Betfair are paying 10 places with the Sportsbook, so it's certainly worth checking out the competition...

Rahm leads the charge

At a best price of 12/1, Jon Rahm is nearest to McIlroy (13/2) in betting terms, and the Spaniard will certainly be keen to improve upon his 12th place showing in last year's tournament.

He has already carded a couple of top three finishes this year including in the WGC-Mexico, and as part of a threesome alongside the reigning champion and Brooks Koepka, there's no reason why Rahm can't up his game.

He'll still have the memories of what happened to him last year fresh in his mind, and that should really spur him on. Holding the lead after 54 holes played, a four-over 76 saw him drop to a disappointing 12th to finish.

His driving was poor on that occasion, as was his attitude at various points, but thankfully he's improved in both aspects, and he'll know that he has more than a puncher's chance of unsettling Rory.

Thomas the value bet

Alongside McIlroy, Justin Thomas has played the best golf of 2020, and has two wins on the tour already this season.

A shoot-out between the pair is a mouth-watering prospect and is bound to excite the masses as we get deeper into the tournament.

What's more, Thomas is no respecter of reputations, and he'll enjoy getting after the reigning champion and really piling the pressure on.

The one area he has to improve on across the four days is his putting.

Though he's swinging as well as anyone in the game right now, his green play could be better. It's improved since his wrist injury last year, but he's still not back to his best in that regard.

That might be part of the reason why he remains at 14/1 for the title, but at that price, he can't be ignored.

DeChambeau the best of the rest

At 20/1, Bryson DeChambeau is the best priced of the rest of the field, and a fourth-place in the Arnold Palmer Invitational which finished on Sunday, sees him with some momentum heading into Sawgrass.

No missed putts within 10 feet, consistently finding line and length and hitting the green in 11 of 18 holes in his third round at Bay Hill, suggests that the 26-year-old is full of confidence at this point.

Indeed, he led the field in both driving distance and strokes gained of the tee, and if he can bring that form, rather than that which he displayed at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, then there's every chance he'll be challenging on the final day.

Webb Simpson, the winner of the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open, didn't take his form in that tournament into the WGC-Mexico Championship a fortnight ago.

A five-over scorecard saw him finish a disappointing 61st, and how he approaches this tournament will arguably dictate just how far up the leaderboard he can finish.

Looking at the field as a whole, anyone who can play with genuine consistency across the four days will trouble the leaderboard.

Fortunately for the spectator, Sawgrass offers just such a possibility.

Jason Pettigrove,

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles