The event has been won by Australians on five occasions with Jason Day, Adam Scott, Greg Norman and Steve Elkington (twice) wining the PGA Tour's 'flagship' title
Let’s look at the Australians involved this year individually and assess their chances.
Day has not played competitively since the Masters where he put together a strong weekend to finish 22nd. Without the same distraction of the issues he was addressing with his mother’s health back then, Day is expected to be a factor this week although he does have somewhat mixed results at the TPC Sawgrass missing three cuts in six starts. If he is anywhere near his best however he should be a definite factor but that is the question.
Scott won The Players in 2004 and has often been held back from contending on several other occasions by just one bad round. Scott produced a very impressive 9th place at the Masters and was perhaps a little underdone when 36th at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. With that run under his belt so to speak he could well step up to the plate this week and I imagine he might.
Leishman keeps making cuts, making the weekend in 20 of his last twenty-two tournaments and it was only four starts ago that he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Leishman has made the weekend in his last five visits to the Players with a best of 8th behind Tiger Woods in 2013 and perhaps represents a good chance amongst the Australians at slightly longer odds.
Smith gets his first opportunity to play the event having played his way into the field courtesy of his win at the Zurich Classic, that effort coming just a week after a good 6th place finish in San Antonio. The first time in this event involves a steep learning curve and while his current form will carry him a long way, he will be all the better for the experience he gains at the TPC Sawgrass this week.
Baddeley has shown on occasions this year that he is not far from where he needs to be to produce a great week. His 5th place finish in San Antonio came after a top twenty in Houston. Baddeley, though, has a horror record at the Players of late, missing six of his last seven cuts and that alone is an issue when assessing his chances.
It has been five years since Pampling last played the Players Championship and even when he was playing the event on a regular basis he has struggled around the TPC layout. His current form is not the best either so his chances of a good week do not look good.
Chalmers has regularly struggled over this layout and having missed his last four PGA Tour starts in 2017 his chances of much improvement appear slim.
THE WEEK IN GOLF: PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP & ANGEL YIN
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