It’s the biggest purse on the PGA Tour and as you would expect, it’s attracted the best players from the PGA Tour too.
43 of the top 50 players in the world have written their names on the Players Championship entry sheet to compete for the lion’s share of $25 million at Ponte Vedra Beach, FL – the same prize money as a LIV Golf event.
Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy – you name them and they’re playing at the Tour’s flagship event at TPC Sawgrass, except Tiger Woods who was absent from the field list.
The 15-time major champion said his focus for 2023 would be the major championships after coming tied for 45th at the Genesis Invitational, so the next stop at PGA Tour HQ isn’t on the schedule.
There have been whispers that Woods hasn’t come away from Riviera in the ripest fashion, so perhaps an extended period of rest will fully prepare him for the Masters in April.
The golf world was pleasantly surprised when Woods announced his participation in the event he hosts in Los Angeles, and their excitement cranked up a notch when he was pictured on a scouting mission at LA Country Club – this year’s US Open venue.
“Like I told you guys last year, I’m not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more,” Woods said last month. “That’s it, that’s all my body will allow me to do.
“My back the way it is, all the surgeries I had on my back, my leg the way it is, I just can’t. That’s just going to be my future. So my intent last year was to play in all four majors, and I got three of the four.
“Hopefully this year I can get all four and maybe sprinkle in a few here and there. But that’s it for the rest of my career. I know that and I understand that. That’s just my reality.”
Nonetheless, the show goes on and the PGA Tour’s Florida swing rolls around to Sawgrass, one of the world’s most iconic golf courses with one of the most iconic holes in the sport.
Cameron Smith successfully negotiated the famous par-3 17th hole and became the Players Champion in 2022. He would go on to win the Open Championship at St Andrews.
Due to the extraordinary situation professional golf finds itself in, Smith has since been suspended from the Tour after being lured to LIV Golf by his compatriot Greg Norman.
He won’t defend his title which he won in an emotional fashion when surrounded by family members he’d been deprived of seeing for over two years by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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