THE PLAYERS Championship Odds: 113 PGA Tour Winners Ready To Tee It Up At TPC Sawgrass

Written By FairwayJay on March 7, 2021 - Last Updated on March 10, 2021
THE PLAYERS Championship odds Hideki Matsuyama

The interest in golf betting on the PGA Tour continues to grow. And for the bigger events like this week’s THE PLAYERS Championship, and majors – starting with next months Masters – wagering action reaches peak levels as the stakes intensify.

THE PLAYERS Championship was canceled last year after one round due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hideki Matsuyama had been the leader after tying the course record with a 63. In 2019, Rory McIlroy took the title and the $2.25 million top prize. The purse has increased since then to the highest on tour, other than the Tour Championship finale in the FedExCup.

The iconic TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida has hosted the event since 1982, and is also the home of the PGA Tour headquarters.

Risk Free Bet
Up to $1,500 Risk Free Bet
Weekly Odds Boosts
Use Promo Code: LEGAL15
No Sweat First Bet
Up to $1,000 in Free Bets if You Lose Your First Bet
Available on iOS, Android & Desktop
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer:
$100 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

THE PLAYERS Championship odds


Dustin Johnson unsurprisingly opened the week as the favorite at top US sportsbooks. DJ was +1200 at DraftKings as of Monday morning. He was followed on the odds board by Bryson DeChambeau (+1500), Rory McIlroy (1600), Jon Rahm (+1600) and Xander Schauffele (+2000).

View all the odds for The PLAYERS Championship at top US Sportsbooks like DraftKings SportsbookFanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet.

Notable players in the field

A total of 154 players representing 25 countries and territories will compete for the huge $15 million purse and $2.75 million first place prize.

How strong is the 2021 field? There will be 113 PGA Tour winners teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass. That’s tied for most of any tournament since the 2000 RBC Heritage. In total, 49 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Rankings, and 29 of the top 30 in the current FedExCup Standings will shoot for THE PLAYERS Championship title at TPC Sawgrass.

Top golfers in THE PLAYERS Championship

  • Dustin Johnson (No. 1)
  • Jon Rahm (2)
  • Justin Thomas (3)
  • Collin Morikawa (4)
  • Xander Schauffele (5)
  • Tyrrell Hatton (6)
  • Patrick Cantlay (7)
  • Rory McIlroy (8)
  • Patrick Reed (9)
  • Webb Simpson (10)
  • Bryson DeChambeau (11)
  • Viktor Hovland (13)
  • Tony Finau (14)
  • Daniel Berger (15)
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick (16)
  • Sungjae Im (17)
  • Paul Casey (18)
  • Harris English (19)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (21)
  • Louis Oosthuizen (22)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (23)
  • Adam Scott (24)
  • Kevin Na (25)
  • Ryan Palmer (26)
  • Cameron Smith (27)
  • Abraham Ancer (28)
  • Joaquin Niemann (29)
  • Scottie Scheffler (30)
  • Jason Kokrak (31)
  • Billy Horschel (32)
  • Victor Perez (33)
  • Kevin Kisner (34)
  • Marc Leishman (35)
  • Justin Rose (36)
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout (37)
  • Max Homa (38)
  • Lee Westwood (39)
  • Shane Lowry (40)
  • Sergio Garcia (41)
  • Bernd Wiesberger (42)
  • Robert MacIntyre (43)
  • Carlos Ortiz (44)
  • Gary Woodland (45)
  • Jason Day (46)
  • Will Zalatoris (47)
  • Brendon Todd (48)
  • Matt Kuchar (49)
  • Lanto Griffin (50)

Other notable players include world No. 51 Mackenzie Hughes, 2017 PLAYERS Championship winner Si Woo Kim, 2015 PLAYERS Championship winner Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Russell Henley, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, 2007 PLAYERS Championship winner Phil Mickelson, and other players moving up in the current FedExCup Standings: Stewart Cink, Sam Burns, Peter Malnati, Hudson Swafford, Martin Laird, Brian Gay, Branden Grace and Wyndham Clark.   

No Englishman has ever won The PLAYERS Championship. The top English players that will shoot to end that streak in 2021 include: Tyrrell Hatton, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and last week’s third round leader at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, 47-year-old Lee Westwood.

Recent THE PLAYERS Championship winners and runner-ups:

  • 2019 – Rory McIlroy (-16), Jim Furyk
  • 2018 – Webb Simpson (-18), Xander Schauffele, Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel
  • 2017 – Si Woo Kim (-10), Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter
  • 2016 – Jason Day (-15), Kevin Chappell
  • 2015 – Rickie Fowler (-12), Sergio Garcia, Kevin Kisner

In the last event in 2019, Rory McIlroy won by 1-stroke, and 19 players shot 10-under par or better.

Top finishers from 2019 returning in 2021:

  • Rory McIlroy (Win)
  • Jhonattan Vegas (T3)
  • Dustin Johnson (T5)
  • Tommy Fleetwood (T5)
  • Brandt Snedeker (T5)
  • Hideki Matsuyama (T8)
  • Jason Day (T8)
  • Justin Rose (T8)
  • Brian Harman (T8)
  • Jon Rahm (T12)
  • Abraham Ancer (T12)
  • Adam Scott (T12)
  • Joel Dahmen (T12)

Tommy Fleetwood and Jason Day also finished top 10 in the 2018 event.

Golfers to watch

The top talent on tour will really be on display this week at THE PLAYERS Championship. Justin Thomas is 5-for-5 in cuts made here with a T3 and T11 making him one of the favorites to watch and consider as a bet. You won’t get him too often at +2000, but we don’t include those golfers at +2000 or below in our bag of Golfers to Watch.

Last week, Tommy Fleetwood and Will Zalatoris both finished top-10 as our Golfers to Watch at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The previous week, Collin Morikawa cashed in as the winner at +4500 as a Golfer to Watch at the WGC Workday event.

Now it’s on to TPC Sawgrass and THE PLAYERS Championship, where you better be playing well and showing signs of good form and improved play, or the Stadium Course will find your flaws.
Here are four players outside of the leading favorites to consider for your Fairway Foursome to win or for a top finishing position at TPC Sawgrass.

Abraham Ancer (+7500 FanDuel): Ancer finished T12 on debut here last year, and shot under par all four rounds. While lacking experience on this course, he’s making up with a solid stat profile and playing well with six top-20 finishes in his last eight starts on tour. He’s a small and short hitter, but his skill sets fit better than his strokes gained stats show. Ancer ranks No. 1 on tour this season in driving accuracy, which provides the basis for strong play at Sawgrass. Add in top-20 in Greens-in-Regulation and Birdies average, plus excellent Strokes Gained stats of +6.5 or better in Around the Green and Tee-to-Green in his last event at the WGC at The Concession, and Ancer looks like he could contend for another high finishing position as he shoots for his first PGA Tour win.

Cameron Smith (+5500 DraftKings): Cameron Smith is no longer offered in the +8000 or better range. That’s what happens when you finish T2 at the Masters, and continue your solid play while rising up the ranks to top 30 in the world. The 27-year-old Aussie is proving that power is not essential, but that a strong Short Game, Around the Green and Putting profile will keep you competitive most weeks. Nothing to like in his three stars at Sawgrass with a pair of missed cuts. But Smith has been consistently solid across most Strokes Gained categories over his last 50 rounds. And he’s one of just a handful of players in this field that ranks top-30 in SG: Around the Green, along with better than average in SG: Approach, Off-the-Tee and Putting.

Jason Day (+5000 DraftKings): Day has three top-10 finishes in this tournament since 2016, when he won the event as the No. 1 player in the world. His experience and proven play here also shows Day with the second-best adjusted scoring average on this course over the last five renewals. He’s rounding into form again with a top-10 and top-20 finish in February, and has gained strokes in most categories over his last five events. Day’s short game and putting really give him an advantage at Sawgrass, where he has proven to be a specialist on the Stadium Course.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200 DraftKings and BetMGM): These are the lowest odds we’ve dipped to in the Golfers to Watch section, but Cantlay still has seven other players with lower odds. He’s too good a fit to pass up this week, as Cantlay has been consistently excellent over his last six starts with six top-20 finishes. That includes a win and two other top 5’s. Entering this event in solid form and playing well is significant towards success. Cantlay has not putted well enough in three starts here, nor on other Pete Dye designs overall. But his Ball Striking, Approach Play and Tee-to-Green are top-10 in this field over his last 36 rounds, and he’s had solid Around the Green stats in a previous start here when he finished top-25. Also of note is Cantlay’s top-5 ranking this season in Bogey Avoidance, which as a strong shot maker makes him appealing at this course as well. Cantlay shot 67 in last year’s opening round before the event was cancelled. He’s Even Money to finish top-20, +225 for top-10, and an interesting look at +4000 to be the first round leader.

Course and tournament information

  • Course: TPC Sawgrass (Stadium)
  • Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • Date: March 11-14
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,189
  • Purse: $15 Million / Winner $2.5 M
  • Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass
  • Greens: : Bermudagrass
  • TV/Online: Golf Channel, NBC (Sat/Sun), PGA Tour Live
  • Twitter & Hashtag: @THEPLAYERSChamp
  • Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy (2019)

The Stadium Course at Sawgrass is one of the most mentally challenging in the world. So many superlatives are bestowed upon TPC Sawgrass, and the Pete Dye design challenges all players without favoring a single style of play. The course was redesigned in 2017 and now features pure TifEagle Bermudagrass on the putting surfaces. Moving the event to March provides softer conditions and more lush rough. Water looms and becomes a hazard on no less than 12 holes with the short signature hole and world famous island par 3 at the 17th one of the most recognized in the world. The closing stretch concludes with three of the toughest par 4 scoring holes at 14, 15 and the finishing hole at 18 – which is annually the most difficult with water lining the entire left side.

The big bombers hold little advantage on the Stadium Course at Sawgrass, where accuracy off the tee and precision iron play is required. Controlled power and placement is advantageous however, as a variety of shots are needed to navigate the 7,189 yard Par 72 layout. Small greens by PGA Tour standards require placement on approach and are now even more pure for putting.

Harbour Town and TPC River Highlands are two other Pete Dye designed courses to navigate in your research of player performances.

Key stats

Course management is critical, as is precision Ball Striking and Approach play with the ability to chip, scramble and score all part of the process when researching strokes gained stats. Arriving with your golf game in good shape is particularly important this week.

In 2019, THE PLAYERS Championship winner Rory McIlroy led the field in strokes-gained off-the-tee. Yet short-hitting but accurate runner-up Jim Furyk outscored McIlroy across the 16 par-5s. Those two players are most diametrically opposed, yet Sawgrass allows golfers with different styles to showcase their skills against the strongest, world class field.

Strokes Gained: Approach leaders in this field over their last 24 rounds, according to research and stats from Fantasy National:

  1. Hideki Matsuyama
  2. Justin Thomas
  3. Jason Kokrak
  4. Sergio Garcia
  5. Keegan Bradley
  6. Talor Gooch
  7. Gary Woodland
  8. Webb Simpson
  9. Dustin Johnson
  10. Paul Casey

Next: Cameron Smith, Henrik Stenson, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Sungjae Im, Patrick Cantlay

Strokes Gained – Ball Striking:

  1. Rory McIlroy
  2. Hideki Matsuyama
  3. Jason Kokrak
  4. Justin Thomas
  5. Gary Woodland
  6. Dustin Johnson
  7. Keegan Bradley
  8. Patrick Cantlay
  9. Keith Mitchell
  10. Sergio Garcia

Next: Paul Casey, Luke List, Xander Schauffele, Sungjae Im

Other stats to evaluate include Bogey Avoidance and SG: Tee-to-Green, which over the last 24 rounds is led by McIlroy, Matsuyama, Thomas, Kokrak and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Following THE PLAYERS Championship, the PGA Tour heads down the South coast on I-95 to PGA National for the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

FairwayJay Avatar
Written by

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

View all posts by FairwayJay