The PGA Tour continues its Florida swing today with one of the crown jewels of the sport, the 2021 PLAYERS Championship. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the tournament, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and player to fade predictions.
Winner: Rory McIlroy- McIlroy has been playing about as great of golf as you can without winning a tournament, with 10 top 20 finishes in his last 12 starts, including 2 top 5 results. McIlroy is the defending champion of the tournament, winning it in 2019, and also has 4 top 12 results in his last 7 starts here. Rory has been on a long winless drought on tour, having not won on tlsince the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions tournament, and I believe he punches his ticket back into the winner’s circle on Sunday.
Top 10: Hideki Matsuyama- Matsuyama has become well known for playing quietly good golf. Nothing too flashy, almost always good for a made cut, and usually a finish between 10 and 30 by week’s end. With that being said, Matsuyama has shown some prowess here at TPC Sawgrass. In 6 career starts, Matsuyama has finished in the top 25 here 5 times, including 2 top 10 results, to go along with just one missed cut. Lest we forget that before THE PLAYERS Championship got cancelled after the first round in 2020, Matsuyama had set the pace with a blistering 63. Matsuyama is due for a great finish and I believe he can put together a solid top 10 result.
Dark horse: Chris Kirk- Kirk has seen a nice career resurgence in 2021 so far, finishing in the top 20 in 4 of his 5 starts, including a runner up finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Kirk has also had past success at TPC Sawgrass, finishing in the top 15 3 times and only missing the cut once in 9 career starts in this event. With Kirk’s strong play of late, a top 20 result is not out of the question.
Player to fade: Cameron Champ- It’s been a struggle for Champ of late, as he has missed the cut in 4 of his last 5 events. Champ is also new to TPC Sawgrass, playing only one round here before withdrawing during the 2019 tournament and playing the first round here last year before the tournament’s cancellation. Until Champ puts together some good finishes, he is an easy fade for me. I predict a missed cut for Champ.