Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Fast Facts

About the 2021 field:

The 154-player field features representation from 25 countries and territories. In February, the PGA TOUR Policy Board, in consultation with the PGA TOUR Player Advisory Council, amended the eligibility for THE PLAYERS Championship to include the Top 125 Finishers from the 2019-20 FedExCup Points List, which resulted in the field increase from 144 to 154. Other notes on the field include:

  • 113 PGA TOUR winners, tied for the most of any tournament since 2000 (2020 RBC Heritage)
    • 121 players that qualified for the previous season’s FedExCup Playoffs
    • 10 PLAYERS Champions, marking the third time with 10 or more PLAYERS champions in a field during the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season
    • 29 of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings
    • 49 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking
  • Current first-timers include: 
    • Harry Higgs
    • Doc Redman
    • Maverick McNealy
    • Cameron Davis
    • Henrik Norlander
    • Xinnjun Zhang
    • Robby Shelton
    • Matthew NeSmith
    • Tyler McCumber
    • Scott Harrington
    • Bo Hoag
    • Robert MacIntyre
  •  

Technology

TECHNOLOGY AT THE PLAYERS

THE PLAYERS is the most technologically advanced golf tournament in the world and has pioneered numerous advances in technology in a number of areas, but with a particular focus on enhancing the fan experience.

  • THE PLAYERS was the first event to have electronic scoreboards (1983) so that fans could better keep up with action around the course.
  • THE PLAYERS 2007 saw several firsts for tournament golf with the deployment of the TOUR’s state of the art Mitsubishi LED Scoreboards, and it was also the first event to run fully produced video highlights on those large format video boards. It became the first event with a fully electronic media center utilizing a 17-projector system with the largest projection screen in the Southeastern United States.

Every Shot Live

Every shot by every player will be live-streamed during all four rounds of THE PLAYERS.

NEW IN 2021:

  • Every Shot Live access will be free for everyone during the first round (Thursday, March 11)
  • 2019-2020 PLAYERS ticket purchasers will get free access all week long

Did you know?

  • More than 3,000 play-by-play clips are produced per standard tournament
  • The PGA TOUR is also working on ‘speed rounds’ for each golfer shown on OTT platforms (PGA TOUR LIVE). If fans are not able to watch every round live, they’ll be able to watch a condensed version of a player’s round. It used to take a couple of hours to put together a speed round manually, but now these speed rounds are generated within 15 minutes of a player finishing.
  • PGA TOUR live is produced and distributed completely through the cloud

Every Shot Live by the Numbers:

  • 747: Estimating 747 hours of coverage based on an average of 4.5 hours per round
  • 63: Total number of additional people required to make the Every Shot Live broadcast possible
  • 120: number of cameras used 
  • 32,000: Estimated number of shots that will be captured

TOURCast

In 2020, the PGA TOUR launched an all-new TOURCast product that allowed fans to follow every shot from each group with a beautiful 3D rendering of the golf course and shot trails.  The new TOURCast platform will also include deep access to the PGA TOUR’s ShotLink powered by CDW data, as well as video clips of every single shot available for fans to see, on demand.

With more fans tuning in from home in 2021, TOURCast is the perfect platform to allow these fans to still feel close to the action on the Stadium Course.  

TOURCast is available on the PGA TOUR’s mobile apps and website.

Did you know?

  • The PGA TOUR TOUR is the only golf organization to integrate shot paths from Trackman onto TOURCast.
  • TOURCast originally launched in 2003 as a state-of-the-art graphical scoring platform that provided unprecedented tournament coverage and won an Emmy in 2005.

PGA TOUR LIVE

PGA TOUR LIVE is the PGA TOUR’s Over-The-Top subscription service that features more than 1,100 hours of live video from 35 PGA TOUR events. 

Fans can subscribe to PGA TOUR LIVE via NBC Sports Gold or Amazon Prime Video Channels, offering fans more viewing options and platforms than ever before. 

ShotLink powered by CDW

ShotLink powered by CDW is a revolutionary technology from the PGA TOUR that captures and reports real-time vital information on every shot, by every player, real-time, during tournament competition. CDW (www.cdw.com) provides insight and management of the technology and software solutions for continued advancements of ShotLink, with more than 16,000 pieces of equipment needed on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and Korn Ferry Tour. More than 250 volunteers are needed each day to run the ShotLink system at a TOUR event.

In 2018 ShotLink was expanded and a second brand ShotLink+ was created. Where ShotLink captures ball at rest data, ShotLink+ captures ball in motion data.  In 2019, ShotLink+ expanded by adding ball tracing technology for tee shots and select approach shots using a combination of today’s best tracing technologies.

Fast facts:

  • ShotLink captures about 32,000 shots per event and is approaching 20 million total strokes captured
  • There are 8 attributes captured per shot hit on the PGA TOUR. This works out to about 174 million attributes stored within the ShotLink system
  • ShotLink provides data to various sources:
    • On-site television broadcast partners
    • International Broadcast partners
    • Digital Platforms (PGA TOUR Live, PGATOUR.COM, DirecTV (ShotLink Channel) etc
    • Studio shows (Golf Central, Inside the PGA TOUR, etc)
    • Players, Coaches and Caddies
    • Print / Social media platforms
    • Mobile devices (available on PGATOUR.COM),
    • On-site partners providing fan enhancements including Video boards, kiosks and multi-media solutions
    • Over 50 additional clients of the TOUR
    • Golf course architects who review ShotLink data when evaluating course changes

Technology Story Ideas

  • Do a story on the new integration of odds-based content on PGA TOUR digital platforms. Learn more here
  • Come out to TPC Sawgrass the week before the tournament when the ShotLink team is laying down miles of fiber optic cables throughout the course. 
  • Head to Head: Orchestrate a head-to-head prediction challenge between the PGA TOUR’s meterologist and your news outlet’s staff.
  • Interview a ShotLink producer for a ‘day in the life’ piece during tournament week 
  • Interview a volunteer who has been a walking scorer since ShotLink was first introduced – Emily Tillo can help connect you to the right volunteer!
  • Interview the volunteer or PGA TOUR employee who helped set up the very first electronic scoreboard in 1983-  Emily Tillo can help connect you to Buzz Berger and Wayne Waters, two longtime volunteers who were involved. 

Broadcast & Distribution

TV Listings:

  • Thursday, March 11
    • Golf Channel 12-6 p.m. ET
  • Friday, March 12
    • Golf Channel 12-6 p.m. ET
  • Saturday, March 13
    • NBC Sports 1-6 p.m. ET
  • Sunday, March 14
    • NBC Sports 1-6 p.m. ET

PGA TOUR LIVE times:

  • Thursday, March 11
    • 6:30 am to 6 pm Featured Groups
    • 8 am to 6 pm Featured Holes
  • Friday, March 12
    • 6:30 am to 6 pm Featured Groups 
    • 8 am to 6 pm Featured Holes
  • Saturday, March 13
    • 7:45 am to 6 pm Featured Groups
    • 12 pm to 6 pm Featured Holes
  • Sunday, March 14
    • 7:45 am to 6 pm Featured Groups
    • 12 pm to 6 pm Featured Holes

Every Shot Live times:

  • Thursday, March 11: 6:40 am to 8 pm 
  • Friday, March 12: 6:40 am to 8 pm 
  • Saturday, March 13: 7:50 am to 8:00 pm 
  • Sunday, March 14: 7:50 am to 6 pm 

Notable Records

  • Course record: 9-under 63. 8 players hold this record –  Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Roberto Castro, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, Colt Knost, Webb Simpson, Brooks Koepka
  • Low 72-hole score: 264 (24-under), Greg Norman, 1994, TPC Sawgrass (63-67-67-67)
  • Most eagles in tournament history: 15, Fred Couples 
  • Double-Eagles: 5 players have made a double eagle – Hunter Mahan, Peter Lonard, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Brooks Koepka, Harris English
  • Holes-in-one: There have been holes-in-one on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course from 1982-2019
    • 9 holes-in-one on the 17th hole, most recently Ryan Moore during the first round of the 2019 tournament 
  • Fewest bogeys at THE PLAYERS, one event (no bogeys or worse): Greg Norman only carded one bogey over the course of 72 holes during the 1994 tournament, which he won
  • Most consecutive birdies: 6 birdies; Ten players hold this record 
  • Most rounds in the 60s (career): Sergio Garcia, 24
  • Players who have birdied No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass all four rounds of a single PLAYERS: only two! Paul Azinger in 1987 and Kyle Stanley in 2017

Hole-by-Hole Overview

HoleViewsAmenities
11 tee is a popular spot to watch players hit their tee shots, with elevated mounding around the tee box.

The path between No. 1 green to No. 2 tee. is another opportunity to see the pros.
Concession stand at 1 tee and 2 green

First Aid presented by Baptist Health
2Elevated mounding behind the green provides a great place to watch players decide whether or not to go for the par 5 in two or lay-up. Concession stand at 1 tee and 2 green
3The mound by the tee provides an awesome birds-eye view of the action on 2 green and 3 tee. Concession stand at 1 tee and 2 green


4Sit on the bulkhead near the green and watch the pros hit their approach shots into this extremely difficult green. 
5Find great views of this tough par 4 from the elevated left side of the fairway, where you can also catch a glimpse of players practicing on the back tee of the upgraded driving range (fun fact- the back range is open to all ticketholders during tournament week!).Wine & Dine on 9 presented by Meiomi Wines

Permanent restroom located on 9 fairway
6This green isn’t very crowded and offers a great place to catch the action up close.
It’s also the perfect spot to see players as they walk from the green to the No. 7 tee.
Permanent restroom located on 9 fairway
7The elevated mounding behind the green allows you to see all the way back to the tee box.
8The longest par 3 on the course. Over the last 17 years, the 8th hole has yielded the fewest number of birdies on the course and ranks as the 4th toughest hole!First Aid presented by Baptist Health (THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience)
9A great par 5 to watch players hit their tee shots and decide whether or not to go for the green in two. 

Mounding on 9 green gives fans an even better view of players’ approach shots and putts.
Wine & Dine on 9
presented by Meiomi Wines

Permanent restroom located on 9 fairway

First Aid presented by Baptist Health
10
The 1st and 10th holes are very similar in terms of their scoring statistics over the last 17 years of THE PLAYERS. This lends itself to a fair start for players during two-tee starts (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).

Sawgrass Square (Mini Bar and 4 Rivers BBQ)

Trucks on 10
11A fan-favorite par 5 where players often go for the green in two, the green is surrounded by sand and water, which provides non-stop drama and excitement.  Taste of JAX (with permanent restroom)

Tacos on 12

Trucks on 10

First Aid presented by Baptist Health
12The 12th hole was redesigned before the 2017 tournament into a risk/reward, driveable par-4.  Tacos on 12

Taste of JAX (with permanent restroom)

First Aid presented by Baptist Health
13Fans directly behind the green may even see a ball or two roll through the green and end up right at their feet! FORE! Tacos on 12

Taste of JAX (with permanent restroom)
14A tough par 4 with great, elevated views behind the tee and the right side of the fairway. Errant tee shots to the right often end up right near fans.Taste of JAX (with permanent restroom)
15This dogleg right par-4 presents players with a tough and tight tee shot through a chute of trees and over water. It is a quintessential Pete Dye hole.Taste of JAX (with permanent restrooms)

Trucks on 10

First Aid presented by Baptist Health
16One of the most iconic par 5s in all of golf.


The 16th hole is responsible for the most eagles (239) and most birdies (3,296) of any hole on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course since 2003.


Permanent Restrooms

Trucks on 10

Sawgrass Square – Mini Bar donuts and 4 Rivers Smokehouse

THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience – includes Food Court, Stadium Village, PGA TOUR Fan Shop and Family Care Suite presented by Wolfson Children’s Hospital 
and a Michelob ULTRA Bar. 

First Aid presented by Baptist Health

Bier Garden
17There is not a bad view of this legendary, island green par 3.
THE PLAYERS Welcome Experience – includes Food Court, Stadium Village, PGA TOUR Fan Shop and Family Care Suite presented by Wolfson Children’s Hospital 
and a Michelob ULTRA Bar. 

First Aid presented by Baptist Health

Concession Stand at 18 tee

Bier Garden
18This finishing hole is one of the most difficult on the PGA TOUR, with water down the left side and an extremely narrow fairway.

You’ll find great views behind the tee and down the right side of the hole. 
Concession Stand at 18 fairway

Tournament History

2021 Anniversaries

  • 5 years: Jason Day (2016)
  • 10 years: K.J. Choi (2011) 
  • 15 years: Stephen Ames (2006) 
  • 20 years: Tiger Woods (2001)
  • 25 years: Fred Couples (1996) 
  • 30 years: Steve Elkington (1991)
  • 35 years: John Mahaffey (1986)
  • 40 years: Raymond Floyd (1981) – Sawgrass Country Club
  • 45 years: Jack Nicklaus (1976) – Inverrary Golf and Country Club

Winners

Click here to view all past champions from 1974 to 2019. 

Most Dramatic Moments in THE PLAYERS History (organized chronologically) 

1978 – Cold, windy weather battered the competitors at Sawgrass Country Club.  Only one player broke 70 on the weekend.  And Jack Nicklaus survived with a final-round 75 to win by one stroke and claim his third Tournament Players Championship; he remains the only three-time winner in tournament history.

1980 After its first three years at various prestigious courses, Sawgrass Country Club hosted The Tournament Players Championship for five consecutive seasons.  Perhaps the most dramatic finish featured a wedge shot Lee Trevino hit stiff on the final hole to set up a birdie and a one-shot victory over Ben Crenshaw.  Tom Watson and Seve Ballesteros finished tied for third on the Hall of Fame-themed leader board.

1982 – The Tournament Players Championship moves to its new, permanent home: TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course.  The course is unique, beautiful, challenging and fan-friendly.  Jerry Pate hit a fabulous 5-iron (with an orange ball) to within 3 feet to seal the victory.  Then Pate enjoyed an extraordinary celebration; he threw then-PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman and course designer Pete Dye into the pond near the 18th green during the awards ceremony, and dove into the pond himself for an unprecedented victory lap.

1982 – THE PLAYERS moves across the street from Sawgrass Country Club to its permanent home at TPC Sawgrass.  The golf course was inspired by then-PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman’s vision for stadium golf and designed by famed architect Pete Dye to favor no one but challenge all.  The course forever changes the way tournament golf is staged.

1983 – As designed, the closing three holes at the Stadium Course produced an exciting climax in 1983.  Hal Sutton, making his first start in the event, birdied holes 16 and 17 to offset a bogey at 18 for a one-stroke victory.  In just his second full season on TOUR, Sutton impressively claims both a PLAYERS title and a PGA Championship.

1984 – Twenty-four-year-old Fred Couples cards a 64 in the second round to hold off a string of major championship winners (Trevino, Ballesteros, Stadler, Wadkins, O’Meara, Price and Watson) and win by one.

1985 Nobody ever hit the ball straighter than Calvin Peete.  His precision paid off with five birdies over the final 10 holes, including a tap-in at No. 17 that opened a three-shot lead.  When he walked up the fairway at No. 18, the first African-American to win THE PLAYERS doffed his cap to the cheering crowd; later, he said he was thinking, “I have reached the mountain top.”

1986 – Larry Mize blew a four-shot lead heading into the final round with four bogeys in the last five holes.  A determined John Mahaffey tapped in and fired his visor into the pond to celebrate the win.

1987 – Jeff Sluman sank a long birdie at the final hole to force the first sudden-death playoff at TPC Sawgrass.  On the second extra hole (the par-3 17th), Sluman faced a short birdie putt to beat Sandy Lyle.  But out of nowhere, a fan dove into the water surrounding the island green.  A shaken Sluman backed away from the putt and then missed.  Lyle won the title one hole later.

1988 – Jacksonville’s hometown hero Mark McCumber enjoyed a victory lap at the Stadium Course.  He posted rounds of 67-69 on the weekend for an easy four-shot victory, then breaks into tears as he walks up 18 when he sees a sign proclaiming him as “Jacksonville’s own.”

1990 Mark Calcavecchia mounted a final-round charge to pull within one shot of leader Jodie Mudd as they both stood on the 17th tee.  “Calc” hit safely into the middle of the green, while Mudd fired right at the flagstick.  Calcavecchia looked right at Mudd and said, “Tell me you pushed that.  I mean he’s good, but he ain’t that good.”  Mudd admitted he had pushed it a little bit, then made the birdie putt and claimed the biggest victory of his career.

1991 – Steve Elkington started the final-round four strokes off the lead and was charging up the leader board until his tee shot on the final hole found an old divot in the fairway.  He boldly played a brilliant 3-iron out of the divot onto the green and holed an unlikely birdie to win by one.

1992 – As he was about to hit a chip shot back onto the 8th green in the final round, Davis Love III overheard spectators betting on whether he could get up and down.  Love promptly chipped in and tells the guys in the gallery who bet against him, “I hope all of you lost.”  Love didn’t lose on Sunday; he won by four shots for his first PLAYERS title.

1993 –On the short-but-demanding par-4 4th hole, Nick Price’s tee shot came to rest on the lip of a fairway bunker.  With one foot in the bunker, Price took a baseball swing and hit the ball within a foot for a tap-in birdie.  He later described it as “the greatest shot of my life.”  He won by five strokes.

1994 – While together on a golf course design project, Greg Norman told Pete Dye that he was going to chew up TPC Sawgrass, and he didn’t disappoint.  The Shark opened with a course-record 63 and followed with three straight rounds of 67 to shatter the tournament record at 24-under par.  Before he tapped in to win, playing competitor Fuzzy Zoeller wiped the brow of the red-hot Norman with a towel

1995 After getting up and down from the pot bunker at the 17th hole to protect a one-shot lead, Lee Janzen faced another do-or-die moment on the final hole: a 5-foot putt to win the championship.  The two-time U.S. Open winner buried it for the win.

1996 – Fred Couples was in the midst of one of the best closing rounds in tournament history.  He went for the par-5 16th green in two, but his 3-iron faded toward the pond fronting the right side of the green.  Instead of bouncing forward into the water, the ball gently kicked left onto the green.  Couples took advantage of the break and made an eagle at 16 followed by a birdie at 17 for the best closing round in tournament history.

1997 – With his second PLAYERS already in the bag, Steve Elkington chipped in for a final birdie to set the all-time tournament record for largest margin of victory at seven shots.

1998 – After much effort, a seagull picks up the ball of Brad Fabel from the 17th green.  With the crowd cheering it on, the seagull flies off with the ball, but, like so many golfers, drops it into the water.

1998 – Len Mattiace pulled into contention in the final round, yet he knew that he needed another birdie or two coming in for any chance to achieve his first TOUR victory.  He grew up in Jacksonville, and his mother cheered him on from a wheelchair just outside the ropes as he approached the 17th tee.  Mattiace was posing as he hit his 9-iron right at the flag, but it flew too long and into the water.  He suffered a heartbreaking 8 on the par 3 and finished T5.

1999 – There have been six holes-in-one at No. 17 during THE PLAYERS and more than 9,000 pars on the island green in tournament history.  But two-time winner Fred Couples combined the best of both worlds when, after dumping his tee shot in the water, he re-teed and holed his third shot on the fly for a hole-in-three, the most dramatic par in tournament history.

1999 – Jacksonville’s own David Duval had a golden opportunity to win the biggest championship of his career, but his ball was bunkered near the 9th green and his lead was in jeopardy.  Instead of losing the lead and perhaps the tournament, Duval holed the bunker shot, won THE PLAYERS and ascended to No. 1 in the world.  And he was cheered on by his father Bob from his own winner’s press conference on the Champions Tour.  Today, they remain the only father-son duo to win on the Champions Tour and PGA TOUR in the same week.

2000 – Paired together for a Monday finish, Tiger Woods eagled the 16th hole to pull within one shot of Hal Sutton.  Sutton held onto that slim margin as they headed to the demanding 18th hole.  After a perfect drive, Sutton hit a 6-iron toward the final green, and implored: “Be the right club… be the right club today!  YES!!”  Woods acknowledged Sutton’s clutch shot with a thumbs up.  Sutton held off Woods to win his second PLAYERS.

2001 – Tiger Woods climbed into THE PLAYERS lead with an eagle and five birdies during the third round, but he faced a seemingly-impossible birdie try at the 17th green.  Woods stalked his triple-breaking, downhill, lightning-fast putt that no other player had come close to making.  As soon as he hit it, Gary Koch told the NBC audience around the world that Woods’ effort was “better than most.”  Koch kept repeating the phrase…until the ball dropped in the hole and the crowd exploded.  That one stroke – which turned out to be Woods’ margin of victory – was indeed “better than most!”

2001 – During the second round, Hal Sutton holed out from the fairway at the short, par-4 4th hole for an eagle.  On Sunday, he holed out for eagle again to become the only player in tournament history to make two eagles on the same par 4 in one week.

2001 – Vijay Singh was making a final-round charge to catch Tiger Woods when his second shot at the par-5 16th came to rest against the collar of the green.  He decided he couldn’t really putt it nor chip it.  So he flipped his putter on its side and used the toe to nudge the ball toward the hole – and in for a remarkable eagle.  He finished in second place, just one shot back.

2002 – Not too many golf fans had heard of Craig Perks before the 2002 PLAYERS.  Now, nobody will ever forget how Perks finished the tournament; looking for his first TOUR title, he chipped in for eagle at 16, sank a long birdie putt at 17 and then chipped in for a par at 18.  Traditionally, the previous year’s PLAYERS winner hands the trophy to the next champion.  An impressed Tiger Woods handed the trophy to Perks and said, “You’re unbelievable.”

2003 – The final round of the ’03 PLAYERS was played in severe cold and windy conditions.  Davis Love III responded with the round of his life.  After hitting his tee shot into the trees on the 16th hole, Love capped off his brilliant play by hooking his approach shot out of the trees, over the water and onto the par 5 in two shots for an unlikely eagle en route to his second PLAYERS triumph.

2004 – Adam Scott seemed destined for greatness.  At only 23 years of age, the Australian stood in the 18th fairway with a two-shot lead about to become THE PLAYERS’ youngest champion at the time.  But when he pulled a 3-iron into the pond left of the green and left his chip shot 10 feet short of the hole, he faced the most dramatic moment of his young career.  And he delivered by pouring in his bogey putt to secure a one-shot victory.

2005 Just one year removed from seeing the youngest champion in PLAYERS history, Fred Funk became the oldest.  With 35-m.p.h. winds whipping the Stadium Course, Funk used his local knowledge to get up and down at 18 from the greenside bunker and preserve a one-shot victory.

2007 – In the third round, Phil Mickelson’s tee shot at the 10th hole found a fairway bunker.  His only shot to the green was through a small gap in the trees.  The leader couldn’t win the tournament with this one shot, but he could lose it.  So “Phil the Thrill” threaded his approach shot through the trees and onto the green.  Climbing out of the bunker, he said to his caddie Jim “Bones” McKay, “I didn’t want to tell you what I was doing.”  Mickelson went on to win the first PLAYERS in May by two shots.

2008 – Sergio Garcia bounced back from a runner-up finish the year before at THE PLAYERS to join a sudden-death playoff with Paul Goydos.  For the first time in tournament history, the playoff began at the fame No. 17.  Goydos hit first – unfortunately, into the water.  Instead of playing safe, Garcia hit to within 5 feet to claim the biggest win of his career.

2011 – David Toms looked like he was going to rejuvenate his career with a victory at THE PLAYERS, right up until the second shot at the par-516th.  The safe play would be to lay up and try to make birdie using the strength of his game: precise wedge play.  Instead, he went for the green in two shots and blocked into the water.  He rebounded with a clutch 20-foot birdie putt at the final hole to force a playoff with K.J. Choi, but at the first extra hole, Toms missed a short par putt and Choi became THE PLAYERS’ first Asian champion.

2012 – Matt Kuchar escaped a fairway bunker at the difficult, par-4 14th hole with clutch 5-iron out of the sand, over the trees and onto the green for a par en route to victory.  The club he used for this great save is now on display in the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse – with donated clubs from each past champion.

2013 – Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia – both former winners of THE PLAYERS – have been rivals for their entire careers.  On Sunday, they were tied for the lead headed into the par-3 17th hole.  Garcia watched from the tee while Woods made a routine par, but then Sergio dumped his tee shot into the water… twice.  Tiger striped a drive on 18 to set up another clutch par en route to his second PLAYERS championship.

2014 – When Martin Kaymer opened with a record-tying 63 and backed it up with solid rounds of 69 and 72, the 29-year-old German probably never imagined that he’d need to drain a bending, sidehill 28-foot putt for par at the famed 17th hole to hold onto the lead.  But after a thunderstorm halted play late Sunday, Kaymer returned to the course and quickly made a double bogey at the 15th hole to see his comfortable lead drop to one stroke.  Martin delivered one of the most clutch putts in championship history, and closed the deal in the darkening skies with another up and down at 18 to win.  The following month, Kaymer became the first player in history to win THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open in the same year.

2015 Birdies, eagles, a new playoff and ultimately sudden death.  THE PLAYERS 2015 had it all.  Rickie Fowler played the final six holes in 6 under to grab the clubhouse lead.  Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner also birdied No.17 to tie Fowler and force the first three-hole aggregate playoff in THE PLAYERS history.  Garcia couldn’t match more birdies by Fowler and Kisner at #17, and he was eliminated from the playoff after the 18th hole.  Fowler and Kisner returned to the 17th hole for sudden death.  Fowler knocked it stiff at the island green, tapped in for his sixth birdie in seven tries at #17 during the tournament, and claimed the biggest prize in his career.  It was an unforgettable finish.

2016 –Jason Day opened with a tournament record-tying 63 and followed it up with a 66 to set the 36-hole record.  Things started to get tight in the final round, especially when Day struggled around the green at #9, but Jason holed a chip shot for bogey to keep his lead en route to a wire-to-wire victory.

2017 – On the strength of a daring driver off the deck from the right rough on the par-4 14th on Saturday, Si Woo Kim fired weekend scores of 68-69 to become the youngest winner of THE PLAYERS, and the event’s second Korean champion along with 2010 winner K.J. Choi.

2018 – Webb Simpson’s record-setting 2018 victory at THE PLAYERS is one he’ll cherish forever: “Man, it means everything to me. I feel like it’s my first win.” Simpson tied the tournament’s 36-hole record with a 63 (-9) on Friday, and he took a commanding lead heading into the back nine on Saturday.  Already a week full of highlights, one of the most impressive came on the par-5 11th after Simpson’s approach shot went long into the bunker behind the green.  Simpson recovered perfectly – and essentially closed out the tournament – holing out from 99 feet for eagle and extending his lead over the best field in golf to eight strokes.

2019 – The 17th hole delivered two of the most exciting moments during Sunday’s final round at the 2019 PLAYERS Championship. England’s Eddie Pepperrell sank an impressive 50-foot putt to tie the lead at the time, and then in the very next group, Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas did the impossible – he sank a 69-foot, 7-inch birdie putt that is the longest putt ever on the 17th hole in the Shotlink era, surpassing Bernhard Langer who recorded a 59-foot, 9-inch putt in 2008. “To choose that hole and make such an incredible putt with the tournament on the line, it couldn’t be any more special… I was extremely happy to two-putt from there and the moment I saw that ball anywhere close to going in, I got extremely excited,” Vegas said.

2019 – Rory McIlroy stepped on the 18th tee on Sunday, March 17, with a one-stroke lead. McIlroy recorded three consecutive pars on the dramatic finishing hole in his previous rounds, but this tee shot was much different…he needed to make par to win THE PLAYERS. McIlroy pulled driver from his bag and drilled the shot, shaping it over the water and 288 yards down the middle. The Northern Irishman made par to become THE PLAYERS champion, which—as luck would have it—came on St. Patrick’s Day.

“18 tee shot was the one that — it was probably the most difficult shot that I had all day knowing I had a 4 to win. I just picked my target, I stepped up, and I just made a committed swing,” McIlroy said. McIlroy used his driver 40 times over the course of the week and averaged 306.8 yards off the tee – more than 18 yards longer than the field average…No luck required.