The Tour’s 5th Major

The 17th hole at the TPC at Sawgrass

This Thursday marks the beginning of an event many Tour players consider a 5th Major Championship. Played at the TPC at Sawgrass, spectators and viewers alike get to watch the PGA’s top players battle it out at the Stadium course for The Players Championship. The TPC at Sawgrass is of course most popular for its infamous 17th hole island green that has cost many players multiple strokes and sometimes the tournament itself.

But why is it considered by many to be a “Major”? Two specific things:

  • It contains the largest tournament purse of the year at roughly $9 million.
  • It provides the winner a 5 year PGA Tour exemptions, which happens to be the same amount of exemptions handed to winners of the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship.

On top of that, with the new FedEx Cup rating system, it hands out the same amount of total points as do the other Majors. Mix that all up, add some brown sugar, a little spice, and you have the tours “5th Major”.

In 1999, Fred Couples hit his first shot in the water, re-teed and went on to fly his next shot into the cup for an amazing par.

I am sure everyone remembers Tiger Wood’s famous around the world putt at the 17th Hole.

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Unfortunately, Tiger Woods will not be joining the field this week because of his recent knee surgery. So, just based on that, television ratings will be down a few points.  It also gives the rest of the field a chance to start catching some ground on his enormous FedEx points lead, which currently stands at around 7,000 points.

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