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PGA HEADS TO FLORIDA FOR THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Golf betting enthusiasts have a big event coming up this week as the PGA Tour heads to arguably the most famous golf course in the world (though the Augusta National and Pebble Beach would likely disagree). TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is near the PGA Tour Headquarters and 'The Stadium Course' designed by legendary golf course architect Pete Dye has been built from the ground up to provide a challenge for the pro's and a great viewing experience for the spectators. The 17th hole—the “Island Green”--is possibly the best known hole in the entire sport.
 
Of course the biggest story this week involves the most famous golfer in the world—Tiger Woods is committed to playing despite some lingering injury issues. Tiger's dipped to the #7 ranking in the world and there's some concern about what sort of shape he's in physically. He suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee and a strained Achilles tendon during the third round of the Masters. Even Tiger's injury had a flair for the dramatic—he suffered the ailment while hitting a shot from underneath the famed Eisenhower Tree on Augusta National Golf Club's 17th hole. As of Monday, Tiger's still in—he sent out a Twitter update reconfirming his participation—but he's got until Thursday's opening round to withdraw and that's a possibility. He pulled out of a scheduled appearance at last weekend's Wells Fargo Championship citing his injuries. 
 
The Players Championship has never been one of Tigers' best events anyway—he's got one career win (2001) and since then has only one top ten finish. Last year he withdrew from the tournament on the 7th hole of the final round due to a neck injury that was causing tingling in his right hand. His knee injuries are a concern since he's dealt with knee problems throughout his career that required several surgeries. Worth noting that at the 'Tiger Jam' charity concern hosted by Woods in Las Vegas over the weekend he was still wearing a 'walking boot'. Clearly a player of his talent is capable of winning anytime and any place but until his form improves and it's certain he's over his injuries we just don't see a lot of value backing the biggest 'public' golfer in the sport.
 
While The Players Championship is a very prestigious event—golf writers call it 'the fifth major'--there hasn't been many repeat winners. In the past 18 years there have been 18 winners of the Players Championship. Since it moved to Sawgrass in 1982 there have been only three two time winners--Fred Couples, Hal Sutton and Davis Love III.   In a 2011 PGA season that has been characterized by unpredictability with three straight tour events ending in playoffs another first time winner at the Players wouldn't be a surprise. It also doesn't bode well for a repeat by 2010 winner Tim Clark.
 
This also sets up a situation where we can back several solid golfers at value prices. Matt Kuchar isn't exactly a 'household name' but he's very consistent and finished in the top 15 here in 2009 and 2010. He's available at +3400 making him an exceptional value as well as a good player to use in matchups. Sergio Garcia has a win and three top 5 finishes at Sawgrass and we can get him this week at a hefty +6000 price. Adam Scott (+3400) and Jim Furyk (+4500) are also worth including in your mix. Realistically, this is a wide open tournament and any decent golfer in good form catching the right price is worth a play.