In 2015, THE PLAYERS Championship saw the best tournament in its 43 year history. That was the year that Oklahoma State’s own Rickie Fowler won the tournament in the first three-hole aggregate playoff in the history of the PLAYERS, which then turned into sudden-death once the three holes were not enough.
Fowler came back from five shots down with six holes to play to tie the leaders and force the three-way playoff with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner. Fowler seemingly couldn’t miss, and eventually both Garcia and Kisner missed their putts and Fowler earned his second PGA Tour win of his career.
Since then, he has won two more Tour wins and is going for his fifth this weekend.
This Mother’s Day weekend is the 44th annual PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida.
For the first two rounds, Fowler will have a familiar partner in Jason Day. Day was not only Fowler’s partner in the Zurich Classic, he was the 2016 PLAYERS champion. The duo will be joined by 2009 winner Henrik Stenson for the rounds on Thursday and Friday.
The trio will tee off the 10th hole at 7:16 a.m. CST Thursday. The second round will begin at 12:41 p.m. Friday from the first tee box.
Coming into the tournament, Fowler is the ninth-best golfer in the world. He has four top-10 finishes on the season, including his win at the Honda Open in February. He currently ranks eighth in the FedEx Cup Ranking. On the season, Fowler currently holds the best scoring average on the PGA Tour, averaging 68.992 strokes per round which is nearly 2.5 strokes lower than the tour average.
Building On Success: 2015 winner @RickieFowler is looking good heading into TPC Sawgrass as he goes for a 2nd @THEPLAYERSChamp win. pic.twitter.com/vtlQE9PdAC— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) May 9, 2017
Fowler isn’t the only former Cowboy taking place in this week’s action. Alex Noren will tee off about a half hour later from the 10th tee with Adam Hadwin and Luke Donald. The trio will tee off just after 1 p.m. CST from the first tee on Friday.
Noren has one top-10 finish on the season, where he finished tied for fifth at the World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play.
Unsurprisingly, Dustin Johnson, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, has the best odds to win according to Bovada. He currently has +700 odds to win after finishing tied for second at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship. Fowler currently has +2200 odds to win, with Noren coming in at +10000.
With the win, Fowler would join Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as multiple winners of the PLAYERS Championship
The weather may come in to play a bit on Saturday, with a 30 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm and 20 mph winds. The first two rounds have predicted highs in the low 90s and 10-12 mph winds. It cools off nicely for the final round on Sunday, with a high of 80 degrees and winds in the midteens.
All rounds will be streamed on PGA Tour Live, but you either need a subscription or a service provider login to watch Fowler’s first round. The first two rounds will be televised on Golf Channel from noon-6 p.m. CST, and NBC will be picking up the national television coverage for the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.