The 2018 Players champion will be crowned on Sunday night when The Players Championship final round takes place around TPC Sawgrass and while this is an evening that usually throws up plenty of drama, tension and excitement, that might not be the case this year.
That is because the final round should be a victory parade for Webb Simpson but things don’t always pan out as expected around this track which makes it a potentially intriguing night in the PGA Tour’s flagship event.
Round 3 Recap
Simpson will take a seven shot lead into the final round after yet again taking it to the course on Saturday. He actually played in the tougher conditions but that didn’t stop him posting a 19 under 54 hole score. Danny Lee is his nearest challenger some seven shots back and he is the only player within nine strokes of Simpson.
World number one Dustin Johnson is on ten under going into the final round with a group of players another shot back on nine under. They include Jimmy Walker, Xander Schauffele and Jason Day among others. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth lit it up on Saturday and they go into the final round on eight under par alongside our two outright picks Ian Poulter and Patrick Cantlay.
We made the tiniest of profits on Saturday as Brooks Koepka was a country mile too good for Zach Johnson but sadly Chesson Hadley lost on the final hole to Charles Howell III but a small profit is better than any sort of loss.
Final Round Betting
You can never say never especially around this golf course but I don’t envisage Simpson throwing this away but thankfully a without Simpson market has been priced up which is quite interesting because only one man is within three shots of Danny Lee going into the final round.
Admittedly there is a bunch of players three and four behind him and one or two of those could make a move but Lee went bogey free in tricky conditions on Saturday and if he can shoot close to 70 or break 70 again then that pack are going to need to find 64s or 65s to catch him which on a Sunday isn’t happening. Dustin Johnson is his closest challenger on the leaderboard but his game is not in perfect nick. It is to his credit that he is in third place but he could get found out on Sunday. I think it is worth taking the 9/2 on Lee without Simpson in the belief he can freeroll to a sub-70 score to finish second.
Sunday 2 Balls
As ever each pairing out onto the golf course has been priced up on Sunday. The final pairing of Simpson and Lee go off at 19.45 BST with the penultimate pair of Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner go out at 19.35. There is no doubt which the headline group is. That is the 19.05 pair of Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods. Earlier in the day Sergio Garcia and Alex Noren are a good pairing while Adam Scott and Steve Stricker should put on a ball striking clinic. My bet comes in the marquee group.
Jordan Spieth vs Tiger Woods
Both Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods fired fantastic rounds of 65 on Saturday to catapult them up the leaderboard. It is hard to say they are in contention when they are 11 back of the leader but they are out late enough to secure a decent finish.
I’ve never known Tiger Woods play a round of golf without the intent of winning the tournament so he might set off and take some crazy risks in this final round. Spieth is also a winner but for him I sense it is a process to build up to the US Open for him so I would imagine he will rein it in a little here. For him it will be backing sure he is comfortable on the greens going forward. Spieth is used to being out this late on Sunday while it is new to Woods in his comeback. I think Spieth has to be taken here especially given that Tiger hasn’t holed much this week and is unlikely to strike the ball as well as he did on Saturday again.
Back D.Lee to win The Players Championship (w/o Simpson) for a 2/10 stake at 5.50 with 888sport
Back J.Spieth to beat T.Woods for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Boylesports
Back him here: