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For release: March 9, 2021

THE PLAYERS Championship 2021 Pre-Tournament Notes

PGA TOUR Media Contacts:  Stewart Moore   (904) 540-2765

                                                  Tracey Veal       (904) 412-6132 (credentials)

Dates: March 8-14, 2021

Where: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Course: TPC Sawgrass (THE PLAYERS Stadium Course)

Defending champion: Rory McIlroy

Purse: $15,000,000 ($2,700,000/winner)

FedExCup: 600 points to the winner

Field size: 154

Format: 72-hole stroke play

Things to Know

  • THE PLAYERS Championship marks the one-year anniversary of the PGA TOUR’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic; after the first round of THE PLAYERS in 2020, the tournament was canceled and the TOUR did not resume for 13 weeks
  • 2019 champion Rory McIlroy seeks his first successful title defense on the PGA TOUR; no defending champion has ever won THE PLAYERS
  • FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau enters the week as the only player with multiple victories during the 2020-21 season
  • Reigning FedExCup champion and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson seeks first PLAYERS Championship title

Notes on the Field

  • 28 of the top 30 in the FedExCup standings (all but No. 8/Brooks Koepka, No. 25/Matthew Wolff)
  • 48 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, tied for the most during the 2020-21 season (U.S. Open) (all but No. 12/Brooks Koepka, No. 20/Matthew Wolff)
  • 112 PGA TOUR winners, the second-most among all TOUR events since 2000 (113/2020 RBC Heritage)
  • 120 players that qualified for the previous season’s FedExCup Playoffs, the second-most of any tournament in the FedExCup era (121/2015 PLAYERS Championship)
  • 10 past PLAYERS winners: Adam Scott (2004), Phil Mickelson (2007), Sergio Garcia (2008), Henrik Stenson (2009), Matt Kuchar (2012), Rickie Fowler (2015), Jason Day (2016), Si Woo Kim (2017), Webb Simpson (2018), Rory McIlroy (2019)
  • Eight of 11 FedExCup champions: Brandt Snedeker (2012), Henrik Stenson (2013), Billy Horschel (2014), Jordan Spieth (2015), Justin Thomas (2017), Justin Rose (2018), Rory McIlroy (2016, 2019), Dustin Johnson (2020)

A look back at Thursday, March 12, 2020

  • 7:40 a.m. ET – First tee shot is hit at THE PLAYERS Championship
  • Noon ET (approx.) – PGA TOUR announces events across all Tours will proceed as scheduled, but will do so without fans in attendance, starting with the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship and continuing through the Valero Texas Open
  • 7:40 p.m. ET – Play is suspended due to darkness


1stHideki Matsuyama63 (-9)
T2Harris English65 (-7)
T2Christiaan Bezuidenhout65 (-7)
T2Si Woo Kim65 (-7)
  • 10 p.m. ET (approx.) – PGA TOUR announces the cancellation of THE PLAYERS Championship, and events across all Tours, through the Valero Texas Open (with the exception of the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, which was postponed)

THE PLAYERS Championship and the FedExCup

  • 23rd official FedExCup event in the 2020-21 season
  • 11 of the 13 winners of the event have advanced to the season-ending TOUR Championship in the FedExCup era
  • Rory McIlroy (2019) is the only player to win the event and go on to win the FedExCup in the same season
  • Tiger Woods (2013) is the only player to enter THE PLAYERS with the lead in the FedExCup standings and win the event

Current FedExCup standings

  • Bryson DeChambeau took over the lead in the FedExCup standings with his win at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard (his ninth week at No. 1 this season)
  • With the winner of THE PLAYERS receiving 600 FedExCup points, each player currently 17th or higher (with the exception of No. 8 Brooks Koepka/WD) is within reach of the No. 1 position
Pos.PlayerPointsWinsTop-10sPts. BehindStarts
1Bryson DeChambeau1,375247
2Patrick Cantlay1,234141419
3Viktor Hovland1,2041417110
4Xander Schauffele1,110052659
5Dustin Johnson1,105142706
6Harris English1,0001537512
7Tony Finau9800539510
8Brooks Koepka960144159
9Max Homa9091346613
10Justin Thomas897044789

Defending champion Rory McIlroy


  • Returns to TPC Sawgrass as the defending champion after the 2020 event was canceled
  • Is also the most recent champion at two other tournaments won in 2019 that have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic: RBC Canadian Open, World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions
  • No player has ever won THE PLAYERS back-to-back
  • Never successfully defended a PGA TOUR title (0-for-11; did not defend three of 14 titles won prior to 2019 THE PLAYERS Championship)
2021 THE PLAYERS ChampionshipTBD
2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MastercardT6
2017 TOUR ChampionshipDid not qualify
2017 Dell Technologies ChampionshipMC
2016 Wells Fargo ChampionshipT4
2016 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play4th
2015 PGA Championship17th
2015 WGC-FedEx St. Jude InvitationalDNP
2015 The Open ChampionshipDNP
2013 BMW ChampionshipT59
2013 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipT47
2013 PGA ChampionshipT8
2013 The Honda ClassicWD
2012 U.S. OpenMC
2011 Wells Fargo ChampionshipMC
  • Multiple wins at four different PGA TOUR events
TOUR Championship2016, 2019
Dell Technologies Championship2012, 2016
Wells Fargo Championship2010, 2015
PGA Championship2012, 2014

2020-21 season

  • Four top-10s in nine starts during the 2020-21 season, including both major championships (T8/U.S. Open, T5/Masters Tournament) and his last two starts (T6/WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession, T10/Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard)

FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau

FedExCup leader

  • Took over the lead in the FedExCup standings after win at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
  • Second stint and ninth total week this season as FedExCup leader (first stint: after U.S. Open through Vivint Houston Open)

First multiple winner

  • Only player to win multiple tournaments during the 2020-21 season (U.S. Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard)
  • Second season of his career with multiple victories and first since 2017-18 (the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, THE NORTHERN TRUST, Dell Technologies Championship)

Statistical leader

  • Leads the PGA TOUR in the following statistical categories
FedExCup Points1,375
Official Money4,477,017
Driving Distance323.5
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee1.268
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green2.083
Strokes Gained: Total2.426
Par-3 Scoring Average2.89
Par-5 Scoring Average4.38
Holes per Eagle52.0

Reigning FedExCup champion and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson


  • 24-time PGA TOUR winner (tied for 26th all-time)
  • Extended streak of consecutive seasons with a win to start his career to 14 with a win at the 2020 Masters Tournament, tying Tiger Woods for third all-time (17/Jack Nicklaus, 17/Arnold Palmer, 14/Woods, 14/Johnson)
  • Can become the fourth player to win THE PLAYERS, the FedExCup, a major championship and a World Golf Championships event (Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy); Justin Rose and Justin Thomas can as well

History at THE PLAYERS

  • In 2019, became the first player since Steve Elkington in 1997 to record all four rounds in the 60s at THE PLAYERS (69-68-69-69)
  • T5 in 2019 marked his first top-10 in 11 starts at the event

World No. 1

  • Holds the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking for the 118th week in his career, third-most in the OWGR era (1986-present); 683/Tiger Woods, 331/Greg Norman
  • Seven PGA TOUR wins when entering the week as World No. 1: 2017 WGC-Workday Championship, 2017 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, 2017 THE NORTHERN TRUST, 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions, 2018 RBC Canadian Open, 2020 TOUR Championship, 2020 Masters Tournament
  • Last World No. 1 to win THE PLAYERS: Jason Day (2016)
  • Last World No. 1 to win on TOUR: Johnson (2020 Masters Tournament)

Jon Rahm (FedExCup No. 17, World No. 2)

  • Making fourth start at THE PLAYERS (T72/2017, T63/2018, T12/2019)
  • Held the 54-hole lead in 2019, the first of his PGA TOUR career, before closing with a 4-over 76
  • Five-time PGA TOUR winner (2017 Farmers Insurance Open, 2018 The American Express, 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans with Ryan Palmer, 2020 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, 2020 BMW Championship)
  • Five top-10s in nine starts during the 2020-21 season, highlighted by a runner-up at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD

Justin Thomas (FedExCup No. 10, World No. 3)

  • One top-10 in five starts at the event (T3/2016)
  • Can become the fourth player to win THE PLAYERS, the FedExCup, a major championship and a World Golf Championships event (Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy); Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson can as well
  • Four top-10s in nine starts during the 2020-21 season, highlighted by a T2 at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP @ SHERWOOD and a solo-third at the Sentry Tournament of Champions
  • 13-time PGA TOUR winner; 12 PGA TOUR wins since the start of the 2016-17 season, tied with Dustin Johnson for the most in that stretch

Collin Morikawa (FedExCup No. 15, World No. 4)

  • Won the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession in his most recent PGA TOUR start, earning his fourth title in his 41st career start
  • Joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win a major championship and a World Golf Championships event before turning 25
  • Making first start at THE PLAYERS (was in the field for canceled event in 2020)

PLAYERS Championship debuts

  • 31 players in the field are making their first official start in THE PLAYERS; 15 of the 31 participated in the 2020 PLAYERS Championship before it was canceled
Participants in 2020First-time participants
Christiaan BezuidenhoutCameron Davis
Sam BurnsDoug Ghim
Dylan FrittelliScott Harrington
Lanto GriffinHarry Higgs
Max HomaBo Hoag
Viktor HovlandTom Lewis
Nate LashleyRobert MacIntyre
K.H. LeeTyler McCumber
Collin MorikawaMaverick McNealy
Sebastian MunozMatthew NeSmith
Joaquin NiemannHenrik Norlander
Victor PerezCameron Percy
Scottie SchefflerDoc Redman
Adam SchenkRobby Shelton
Sepp StrakaWill Zalatoris
 Xinjun Zhang

Balls in the water at No. 17 (since 2003)


Tournament records

  • Lowest 18-hole score: 63 (eight times; most recent: Brooks Koepka/R4, 2018)
  • Lowest 36-hole score: 129 (Jason Day/2016, Webb Simpson/2018)
  • Lowest 54-hole score: 197 (Greg Norman/1994, Webb Simpson/2018)
  • Lowest 72-hole score: 264 (Greg Norman/1994)
  • Largest margin of victory: 7 strokes (Steve Elkington/1997)
  • Playoffs: 5 (most recent: Rickie Fowler def. Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner, 2017)
  • Best come-from-behind win: 6 strokes (Raymond Floyd/1981)
  • Youngest winner: Si Woo Kim, 2017 (21 years, 10 months, 16 days)
  • Oldest winner: Fred Funk, 2005 (48 years, 9 months, 13 days)