The Players Championship Golf 2024 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The PGA Tour heads to TPC Sawgrass for the biggest event of the year outside of the majors this week as The Players Championship is staged for the 50th time in what is a standout landmark for the marquee tournament.

There is so much jeopardy on this course which catches the best players out year on year. It didn’t catch Scottie Scheffler out last year though as the world number one picked up the title and he will be looking to make a successful defence of it here.

Recent Winners

2023 – Scottie Scheffler

2022 – Cameron Smith

2021 – Justin Thomas

2019 – Rory McIlroy

2018 – Webb Simpson

2017 – Si Woo Kim

2016 – Jason Day

2015 – Rickie Fowler

2014 – Martin Kaymer

2013 – Tiger Woods

The Course

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is the venue for this wonderful tournament once again this week. Golf fans will not need any description of this famous track, famous for the 17th hole which is a short par 3 island hole. This is one of the toughest tests of golf on tour where the pressure is on over almost every shot. Only the bravest golfers win around this track.

It goes without saying that with all the water around this course accuracy is paramount. This is a very tough course so scrambling is a key requirement as well which makes the bogey avoidance statistic another key one. Both tracks used in the Florida Swing to date have been firm and fast and the point of moving this tournament back from May to March was to keep conditions similar. TPC Sawgrass is a par 72 course which only measures 7,275 yards so it is not a long track and bombers don’t tend to get much advantage here.

The Field

We always get the best field of the season teeing it up in this event both because of the prizes on offer and the difficulty and quality of the course that the players take on. That is no different this year and it is headed by the world number one and defending champion Scottie Scheffler. It is five years since Rory McIlroy won around here but he is back for another go at this course with another former champion in Justin Thomas also teeing it up this week.

Other leading American lights who will fancy their chances this week include Xander Schauffele, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris and Sam Burns while Hideki Matsuyama heads up the international challenge with the likes of Min Woo Lee and Si Woo Kim also likely to fancy their chances. Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman are current major champions who are in the field while the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick and Shane Lowry are former major winners looking to add this one to their CV.

Market Leaders

Scottie Scheffler is the world number one, defending champion and he comes into this tournament off the back of a win last week and he is the 11/2 favourite to keep hold of the title. There is no better ball striker in the game at present and with all the water that is around this course that certainly isn’t the worst trait in the world. The 11/2 might be that his putter holds up and while that isn’t a guarantee, it seems to be performing better in recent times so he is the one to beat, but in this field the price is fair enough.

Rory McIlroy is a former winner around here and he is 16/1 on the best prices to get the title back again but I haven’t really seen anything from him to suggest that a win is heading his way. While this is a big event in its own right, we are getting close enough to Augusta now for his attention to be beginning to be in the direction of  The Masters and completing the Grand Slam so while he’s a great player he isn’t for me this week.

Xander Schauffele is 22/1 to win the tournament this week. He was second here on debut in 2018 and the common logic would be that he would improve for the hit out but his record in the event since then has been pretty ordinary with a T19 last year the best it has been for him since then. Schauffele has been consistent in 2024 with four top 10 finishes and he is making cuts regularly but whether this is the course for the door to open for him remains to be seen.

A trio of class acts come at 25/1 in the betting. They are Max Homa, Justin Thomas and Viktor Hovland. Thomas is a former winner here which makes him slightly more appealing than usual but I’m still not convinced he is ready to win an event like this again. Homa should probably have been closer than a T8 at Bay Hill last week but that was his best display of the season so far which is a concern while Hovland looks bang out of form and even a pair of top 10 finishes here in the last two years don’t inspire me with confidence.

Main Bets

I don’t think it is going to be long before Will Zalatoris wins on the PGA Tour again and the way he is hitting the ball right now there is no reason why that can’t be this week. Putting isn’t everything on this course. It helps but it is no use to man or beast if the ball doesn’t stay out of the water so I would rather have the elite ball striking on my side than the putting. As it goes he hasn’t been terrible with the short stick, or long stick in his case, in recent times. Zalatoris is a strong player of tough courses. He finished in the top five in his last two starts and was T13 prior to that. Zalatoris sits seventh on the Tour in strokes gained from tee to green and I think he has a real good chance this week.

The other man who interests me from a main bet point of view is Shane Lowry. Lowry has been on fire since the circuit returned to Florida, He was fourth at PGA National and then bettered that with a third placed finish in Bay Hill where he shared the lead going into the final round before Scottie Scheffler produced a round for the ages to get the better of him. He is trending in the right direction and is hitting the ball brilliantly at the minute. He ranks T11 for strokes gained tee to green this season and was second to Scheffler in that discipline at Bay Hill last week. If he hits the ball as well this week then with his short game and touch on the greens he should be bang there with a chance on Sunday.


I’ll play three outsiders this week with the first of them being Keith Mitchell, who is hitting the ball extremely well at the minute. He sits fifth on the PGA Tour for strokes gained tee to green but unlike say a Zalatoris he has a good putter and when it is working he can be very hard to beat. It hasn’t worked as well as he would have wanted this season and that is probably why the two top 10 finishes and the two top 20 ones weren’t even better, however in his last six rounds he has shot 65, both on par 71 courses while earlier in the season he rounded off The American Express with a 62. When it goes well Mitchell scores well and with his long game he should be suited to here. I think he’s a big price.

Another player who is a big price is Chris Kirk who has won twice over the last 13 months or so, one of which came from down the road at what was The Honda Classic. He also landed the title at The Sentry at the beginning of the season. He hasn’t done a huge amount since then but he sits in the top 10 for strokes gained from tee to green and I keep on mentioning that is a statistic which is a key thing here. Kirk is usually a very good putter and while he hasn’t putted brilliantly this season, he showed in Hawaii that when he does putt well he wins. I’ll pay to see if he putts well this week.

My last bet is a bit more of a speculative one and that is Stephan Jaeger. The German sits in the top 25 of the strokes gained tee to green statistic on the PGA Tour this season and that is a huge thing for me, especially when we are backing him at 150/1. He is another one who isn’t putting brilliantly well this season but he has two third placed finishes this season, one of which came at Torrey Pines so he can handle tough courses and last week at Bay Hill he was five under after two rounds and two off the lead before it went a bit pear-shaped. I’ll pay to see if he can put all four rounds together in this one.


Back W.Zalatoris to win The Players Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

Back S.Lowry to win The Players Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 41.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

Back K.Mitchell to win The Players Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

Back C.Kirk to win The Players Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 101.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)

Back S.Jaeger to win The Players Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 151.00 with Bet365 (1/5 1-8)