Jon Rahm Favorite to Win the 2023 The Players Championship

Tony Reyes
By , Updated on: Mar 5, 2023 07:00 PM
Jon Rahm Favorite to Win the 2023 The Players Championship

Golf’s unofficial fifth major, the PGA Players Championship, has drawn a strong field of players, with many arguing that the PGA Tour's flagship event should be elevated to major status. The Players Championship has the biggest purse of the season at $25 million, with the winner’s share being $4.5 million. The event will take place at the iconic venue of the stadium course at TPC Saw grass.

The winner of the Players Championship will receive a five-year PGA Tour exemption and a three-year invitation to The Masters and the three other majors. Additionally, the world ranking points earned at this tournament are the highest of any non-major event. Established in 1974, the Players Championship usually attracts the top 50 players in the world, although this year's event will not include players from the LIV golf tour. Unfortunately, defending champion Cameron Smith will not be able to defend his title due to his move to the LIV tour.

Previous winners of the Players Championship include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and Rickie Fowler, who all share a common trait of being excellent ball strikers and shotmakers.

On Friday, the PGA Tour released the lineup for the upcoming Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and it was revealed that Tiger Woods will not be participating. The 15-time major champion did not register for the tournament by Friday's deadline, indicating that he will be sitting out of the event at TPC Saw grass Stadium Course.

Before we get into the odds and predictions for this tournament, check out the best golf betting sites and where you can find our sportsbook reviews.

The Players OddsBovadaBetOnlineBetUSMyBookieGTBets
Jon Rahm+850+900+850+850+850
Rory McIlroy+950+900+900+900+1000
Scottie Scheffler+1100+1100+1100+1100+1200
Patrick Cantlay+1800+1800+1800+1800+1900
Justin Thomas+1800+1800+1900+1800+1800
Max Homa+2200+2100+2100+2100+2200

The Course

Located at the PGA Tour's headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, the TPC Saw grass stadium course is a magnificent venue that has become a classic parkland track on the tour. Players appreciate the familiarity of returning to this course season after season. The course offers a shot maker's paradise, where any player type can win. Despite the softer conditions underfoot since the event moved to a March slot, the scoring at the top of the leaderboard has not changed too much, with an average winning total of around -14 in the three editions so far.

The par 72 course is 7,189 yards long and does not necessarily require a driver. Precision from the tips is key, with dog-legged fairways turning both ways. Wind often plays a significant role, but softer greens in March make controlling approaches and putting easier. As with any Pete Dye design, risk-reward is the name of the game, with the four par 5s and the short par 4 12th being crucial holes. The event culminates with the infamous island green 17th and a tough closing hole alongside the water.

The greens are over-seeded Bermuda, and a similar grass type surrounds the short stuff from tee to green. Driving accuracy, scrambling, holing out, strong wind play, mentality, approach, par 5 performance, and shot shaping are the key metrics and premiums for the Players Championship at TPC Saw grass. The course at TPC Sawgrass provides a fair examination for any type of golfer and offers decent value odds for potential winners.

The most popular way to bet on golf is by simply picking the winner, which is referred to as an outright. There are plenty of other ways to wager, however, including top finishers, head-to-head matchups, and plenty of props. For a complete list of golf betting options, visit our golf page.

The Contenders

Several players are rounding into form and are ideal candidates to make an assault on the prestigious Players Championship title. The 2022 leaderboard shows that a diverse group of nationalities and playing styles were in contention, with only one shot separating each of the top five places from -13 down to -9.

The ideal player for Saw grass is an all-rounder with ball-striking skills and a good short game. The player should be accurate with the driver and able to shape shots both ways. Saw grass is one of the most significant risk-reward type courses on the tour, with numerous water hazards in play, including the signature par 3 17th hole.

The three golfers that fit this description the best are Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, and Matthew Fitzpatrick. In addition to being the reigning FedEx Cup champ, McIlroy has actually won at TPC Saw grass before (2019). McIlroy has the second-best odds (+1000) and has also been playing very well of late. Thomas is the de facto defending champ, as Cam Smith is unable to defend the title with his departure to the LIV tour. This makes sense, considering Thomas has the fourth-best odds (+1800) and has had success at the course before. Fitzpatrick, who had a strong season in 2022 culminating in his first major victory (US Open) is the long shot you should keep your eye on. At (+2500) odds you'd think the Brit didn't have a chance, but his steady improvement and tireless work ethic have kept him in contention at most tournaments.

Our Best Bets for the Players Championship

Picking the winners for the Players Championship is always unpredictable. We've got two picks that should come through for you this weekend. As difficult as it is picking against Jon Rahm, with him being the current favorite and winning nearly every week now, I like Rory McIlroy to come out victorious in this tournament, raising his second PGA Players Championship trophy. If you are interested in a long shot, I would very much sprinkle a little bit on Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Rory McIlroy To win the PGA Players Championship
Matthew Fitzpatrick To win the PGA Players Championship

For a complete list of golf betting options, visit one of the underneath bookmakers. There are dozens upon dozens of golf bets to make at these sites — from props to tournament winners, every type of golf bet is available. Every bookmaker featured in the table also rated highly in our newest sportsbook reviews when it comes to fighting betting, so you’re money is in good hands no matter where you go.

Meet the author

Tony Reyes

With years of experience as an analyst, Tony brings an expert voice to picks and predictions. His love of sports betting comes through in coverage that informs and entertains in equal measure. You can find Tony shooting hoops or cycling the local trails when not watchin...

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