Rory McIlroy is the man to beat at this week’s Players Championship following an impressive return to form at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.
McIlroy has been installed as a 9/1 favourite to win a second Players title at famed TPC Sawgrass this week just a week after agonisingly missing out on a second victory at Bay Hill.
The World No.3 surged home late at Arnie’s Place and could have taken the outright lead had he converted his 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole.
The performance from McIlroy, especially on the weekend, was a pleasing one given he was well off the pace at both the WM Phoenix Open and Genesis Invitational in his previous two starts.
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Rahm had something of a mare after shooting a 65 in the first round last week, finishing well down the field following back-to-back rounds of 76 on Friday and Saturday.
While we all know Rahm is the hottest player in town right now with five victories in his last 10 starts around the world, I’m prepared to leave him alone once more this week.
Which player do you think will perform best at this week’s Players Championship?
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You have to respect the recent form of Scheffler, who also came close to defending his crown at Bay Hill last week, but it’s McIlroy that gets me most excited heading into the flagship event of the PGA Tour season.
McIlroy’s win here in 2019 fuels me with confidence, especially given I think he’s playing some of the better golf of his career right now.
While 9/1 is hardly much to get excited about, I think the lead voice for the PGA Tour is going to lead come Sunday night.
My second pick for a first Players victory is Patrick Cantlay at 18/1.
Cantlay has been knocking on the door in recent weeks with a third at the Genesis and a fourth last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
He’s not got great form here, which is some concern, but Cantlay is overdue a win on the PGA Tour and he looks ready to me.
At an outside price, I like the look of Jason Day at 50/1.
He won here in 2016 and he has been playing some terrific golf of late coming here with three consecutive top 10s.
Andy’s picks at The Players:
Rory McIlroy – 9/1
Patrick Cantlay – 18/1
Jason Day – 50/1
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