Tuesday Was Just the Beginning As Players Settled Into TPC Sawagrass
It was 72 degrees on the TPC Sawgrass course as we got there on Tuesday Morning. The dew on the ground and the smell of smoke from the fire’s burning around the state of Florida, thick in the air. But this was THE PLAYERS Championship, and the show was just beginning.
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THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Morgan Stanley, PwC and Optum are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $84 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $8.5 million generated in 2016. In April 2011, THE PLAYERS announced a new charitable focus, committing to generate $50 million for youth-related charities over 10 years. For more on THE PLAYERS and the surrounding area, visit THEPLAYERSChampionship or floridashistoriccoast.com.
Notable things overheard on Tuesday
On THE PLAYERS Championship and the renovated TPC Sawgrass
Brandel Chamblee – “I don’t think there is anybody that looks at this golf course and thinks, yes, this is a perfect match. This golf course has done more for sports psychology than any other golf course I can think of. It gets in players’ heads.”
David Duval – “For the players to come to this championship and this venue, its redo and see it like this, everybody is excited to be out here.”
On the new long-term FedExCup Sponsorship Extension and the FedExCup Playoffs
Chamblee – “The big stars have bought into it. Now, the PGA TOUR season ends with an emphatic finish, a climatic ending.”
Rich Lerner – “The TOUR is to be given a lot of credit. It was bold and put some juice into a time of year that had been lacking.”
On Rory McIlroy
Chamblee – “If he [McIlroy] likes to put jigsaw puzzles together, than this golf course will be a really good fit for him, because this golf course – in particular for players of that length – is a jigsaw puzzle.”
On Jordan Spieth
Frank Nobilo – “Tee to green his game is very, very good. Putting, which is where you win tournaments, he is rather cool right now. He needs to be red hot.”
On Sergio Garcia
Lerner – “It has been a 20-year roller coaster ride for Garcia. He has been the ‘pro wrestling bad guy.’ Not Iron Sheik, but maybe like Macho Man. Now he is the good guy. Relaxed, with all of that natural talent and charisma finally flowing.”
Duval – “He has played both the villain and hero in professional golf. We want our heroes and sports athletes to show emotion. I see a man who has taken a breath and recognized that he has had an amazing career. While his Masters victory caps it off in a way, at the same time he realizes that by no means is he done. This will open a lot more doors for him as he starts his next chapter in his career as a major champion.”
Here is a Look At Wednesday At The Players
Wednesday, May 10 (7:30-9 a.m. – Doors open at 7 a.m.)
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has hosted a breakfast at THE PLAYERS Championship for 30+ years as a way to bring the Northeast Florida golf community together with PGA TOUR professionals. Professionals interact with, pray with, and inspire Northeast Florida juniors through stories of what God has done in their personal life and professional career. All local area high school and college golf teams and coaches are invited to attend at no cost, thanks to individuals who underwrite the event by team sponsorship.