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On This Day

On This Day: May 10th

Phil Mickelson was the first player to win the newly-positioned Players Championship. (Photo: Chris Condon Getty Images )
On this day exactly a decade ago, the Players Championship teed off at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the very first time in its new date of May having been held in the month of March for all but two of its previous 33 stagings.

In 2007, the event moved to its new time slot in May to accommodate a restructuring of the PGA Tour which coincided with the introduction of the Fed Ex Cup. This also allowed the PGA Tour to have key events in five consecutive months including the Masters in April, The Players in May, the U.S. Open in June, The Open Championship in July, the PGA Championship in August, and the Tour Championship in September.

The Players Championship was first played at the Atlanta Country Club in late August and early September of 1974 when Jack Nicklaus won the first of his three Players Championships, the only man to do so.

The event was then played at the Colonial Country Club in Texas in 1975, the Inverrary Golf and Country Club in Fort Lauderdale in Florida in 1976 before moving to the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977 where it remained until 1981.

The purpose-built Pete Dye-designed TPC Sawgrass then became the championship’s permanent venue in 1982 and has remained that way since.

Phil Mickelson would win in 2007 but spare a thought for the man who was in a position to challenge Mickelson for the title as they headed for the famed (or infamous) par-three 17th hole. Sean O’Hair, two behind and Mickelson's nearest challenger at the time, hit two balls in the water beyond the green that afternoon and dropped four shots before dropping another at the last to slip from second to a share of 11th.

In those 10 years since the date change, the only Australian to have taken the title has been Jason Day who won by four shots over Kevin Chappell but in earlier years, Greg Norman, Steve Elkington (twice) and Adam Scott each captured the PGA Tour’s flagship event.

THE WEEK IN GOLF: PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP & ANGEL YIN

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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