THE PLAYERS Championship Fantasy Sleeper Report
As all around him lost their cool, Francesco Molinari barely broke sweat at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The Italian is a suave customer at the best of times, and in his closing round of 64 on Sunday he showed how to take care of business under pressure.
It helped that he came off the pace, of course, having started the day in T17, and it is much easier to win tournaments that way than when leading from the front; as Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood all did, at various points, before crumbling under the spotlight.
If you think trying to win at Bay Hill is pressurized, wait ‘til you try to take down the field in the ‘fifth major’: THE PLAYERS Championship.
Dustin Johnson of the United States lines up a putt on the 16th green during the final round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 13, 2018 in Ponte Vedra Beach,… Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
With the pressure cranked up as it is, now imagine trying to dissect one of Pete Dye’s most maniacal creations: TPC Sawgrass. There’s tiny, rapid greens, which are protected by sand, water and run-off areas, and these fire any wayward approaches miles away.
There are doglegging fairways both ways, deep British-style bunkers and lots of water hazards; not least the one which protects the famous island green on the Par 3 seventeenth.
There are two saving graces for the field: one, the forecast suggests that the wind won’t be too taxing, not after the first day anyway, while some rain over the weekend should help to soften the greens and make them a touch more approachable.
It’s an event you’d expect the cream to rise to the crop, and you’ll see the likes of Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and defending champion Webb Simpson all on the rollcall of former winners.
Simpson’s -18 was the lowest winning score in more than 20 years, and he laid waste to a Sawgrass layout unprotected by a strong breeze.
If the rain comes this week, we can expect a similarly low winning score, so which of the sleepers make our shortlist for THE PLAYERS Championship?
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Sleeper Report Predictions This Season (2018-2019)
Total Top 3s
Total Top 10s
Total Top 25s
Total Winners Picked
Total Runners-Up Picked
Total Made Cuts (Includes Sleepers)
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