Players 2022: The 13 best bets to win at TPC Sawgrass
Kevin C. Cox
The question often gets raised about the Players Championship as to whether it should be considered the fifth major in men's golf. What isn't questioned surrounding the event is its incredible field, one that each year rivals any tournament in the game. Or its equally incredible purse. This year, they're playing for $20 million—by far the largest of any tournament including the four majors—with the winner's taking home a $3.6(!) million. Presuming all the chatter about a Saudi-backed Super Golf League doesn't keep any of the top names out of this year's event, we've put together our weekly ranking of best bets—based on odds from FanDuel—for the March 10-13 event.
1. Patrick Cantlay (20/1)
Reason to pick: The reigning FedEx Cup champ has been right there with Jon Rahm for the best player on the planet in 2022.
Cause for concern: Like Rahm, he hasn't exactly been piling up the wins despite piling up scores in the 60s.
2. Viktor Hovland (20/1)
Reason to pick: If Cantlay/Rahm have been the best players on the planet, Hovland has been the best winner with three victories in a five-start span that ended in January.
Cause for concern: Missed the cut in his first Players appearance last year.
3. Collin Morikawa (16/1)
Reason to pick: For a guy who is the fastest player to two major titles in the modern era and a WGC winner as well, a Players title seems like it's just a matter of time.
Cause for concern: Not a great debut at TPC Sawgrass in 2021, but he did shoot a final-round 66.
4. Rory McIlroy (16/1)
Reason to pick: He's the 2019 champ and has three other top-10s in his past eight starts at TPC Sawgrass.
Cause for concern: Just when you thought Rory had figured the Stadium Course out he shoots 79-75 last year to miss the cut. Badly.
5. Will Zalatoris (50/1)
Reason to pick: Quite frankly, you're getting incredible value for one of the best ball-strikers on tour.
Cause for concern: Despite all those high finishes, Zalatoris has yet to hoist a PGA Tour trophy.
6. Joaquin Niemann (41/1)
Reason to pick: Already took down a Players Championship-caliber field at the Genesis Invitational and yet you're still getting longshot odds.
Cause for concern: Even with a red-hot putting week at Riviera, the 23-year-old only ranks 115th in strokes gained/putting.
7. Justin Thomas (14/1)
Reason to pick: He's the defending champ!
Cause for concern: He hasn't won anywhere since; and you're certainly not getting a discount on his odds.
8. Daniel Berger (30/1)
Reason to pick: His four career PGA Tour titles have all come at places that emphasize driving accuracy over driving distance and he has a pair of top-10s at TPC Sawgrass in his past five starts.
Cause for concern: Did you see the final round of the Honda Classic? Then again, the 28-year-old has been battling an uncharacteristically bad putter (103rd in strokes gained/putting) all season.
9. Matt Fitzpatrick (50/1)
Reason to pick: The Brit ranked second in strokes gained/approach and sixth in strokes gained/tee-to-green this season following back-to-back top-10s at Pebble Beach and TPC Scottsdale.
Cause for concern: His momentum was stalled by an illness that forced a WD ahead of the Genesis Invitational.
10. Jon Rahm (10/1)
Reason to pick: He's the World No. 1 and has shot over par once in the past seven months.
Cause for concern: Had an epic final-round meltdown here in 2019, plus 10-to-1 odds is a bit steep for anyone at such an unpredictable track.
11. Bryson DeChambeau (20/1)
Reason to pick: Has improved in each of his three trips to TPC Sawgrass, including a T-3 last year.
Cause for concern: TPC Sawgrass historically hasn't been a bombers' paradise, and he hasn't played since WDing in Saudi Arabia with hand and hip injuries.
12. Jason Kokrak (65/1)
Reason to pick: This late-bloomer sneakily has three wins in his last 31 PGA Tour starts.
Cause for concern: He also hasn't done much at TPC Sawgrass other than a sneaky T-9 last year.
13. Corey Conners (65/1)
Reason to pick: One of the best iron players in the game, the Canadian finished T-7 at TPC Sawgrass last year.
Cause for concern: Conners is yet to post a top-10 this season—of course, that's also why you can get him for such a great price.