The season's so-called fifth major kicks off this week at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Check out all you need to know about the event with our tournament primer.
What: The Players Championship is commonly referred to as the season’s fifth major. Is the event an actual major? No. But hosted right down the road from PGA Tour headquarters, the event has gained prestige as the PGA Tour’s major as the four majors are hosted by Augusta National, the USGA, the R&A and the PGA of America. The richest purse in golf and its positioning as the main May event on the Tour’s new calendar has solidified the Players Championship as one of the most reputable tournaments of the year.
When: The first round of the 2014 Players Championship begins Thursday, May 8th, and the final round concludes Sunday, May 12th. The Golf Channel hosts coverage on Thursday and Friday from 1-7 p.m. Eastern and weekend coverage on Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. NBC hosts weekend coverage from 2-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Where: The Players Championship is held annually at TPC Sawgrass, located in Ponte Vedra, Fla. The Players Championship is held on the Stadium course. TPC Sawgrass has two courses on the property: the Stadium and Valley. The tournament moved to the Stadium course in 1982 after being played at Sawgrass Country Club for nine years. TPC Sawgrass was the first of now 32 TPC properties to be developed, such as the popular TPC Scottsdale or TPC Stadium Course at PGA West.
Who: The field for the Players Championship is comprised of the following: PGA Tour winners since the last Players Championship, the top 30 from last year’s FedEx Cup, the top 125 from last year’s money list, the top 125 from the current season, major champs from the last five years, the top 50 from the World Rankings, the Senior Players champ from last year, the Web.com money leader from last season, the money leader during the Web.com Tour Finals and current top 10 from the FedEx Cup points.
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Defending Champion: Tiger Woods. Due to recent back surgery, Woods will not defend his title at the Players Championship after his second-career victory at TPC Sawgrass in 2013. Woods shot a final round 70 and finished with a two-stroke victory over David Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman.
Purse for Players Championship: The winner of the 2014 Players Championship will win $1.8 million. The total purse is $10 million, up from $9.5 in 2013 and tied with the PGA Championship for the richest purse in golf.
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Can I play TPC Sawgrass: Yes, but it will cost you. A round at the course costs between $400-$495 depending on the season.
2013: Tiger Woods
2012: Matt Kuchar
2011: K.J. Choi
2010: Tim Clark
2009: Henrik Stenson
2008: Sergio Garcia
2007: Phil Mickelson
2006: Stephen Ames
2005: Fred Funk
2004: Adam Scott