Alright, for the first time in 4 years, I am trying something new with Odyssey, yes I am actually doing something innovative for once. With the change in schedule for the 2019 season, the majors are in a different order. I am here to give you who is trending, who isn't, and your sleeper picks for the major tournaments in golf. First up is the Players Championship, golf's unofficial 5th major. TPC Sawgrass is a test for golfers of all kinds, here are my picks for this week.
1. Francesco Molinari
The reigning champion golfer of the year should be one of your top picks. Coming off of a come from behind victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a final round 64 and probably one of the best putting displays of your career, Molinari is one of the safest picks you can make in most major tournaments. You don't need to hit it long at TPC Sawgrass to win, but you need to be accurate and make tons of putts and this is in his wheelhouse. After cashing in this year with a victory at Bay Hill and a new Callaway equipment contract, can he add even more money to his wallet this year at the Players?
2. Keith Mitchell
The Honda Classic winner is trending well after an impressive victory in South Florida. A win at the Honda and a Top 10 finish at API for Mitchell will be a big confidence going into TPC Sawgrass. Length anywhere will give you an advantage, and he uses it well, but this tournament is a huge equalizer for both short and long hitters, if Mitchell can putt like he did in South Florida, he will be dangerous this week at the Players.
3. Tommy Fleetwood
The relentless Tommy Fleetwood is a huge threat in any major golf tournament. Fleetwood, just like Molinari, is one of those players with one of those complete all in one games, and he's a guy that loves the big moments, and it's his time to shine at TPC Sawgrass. Fleetwood is looking for a victory on United States soil, and he will most likely not disappoint this week.
1. Jason Day
After a W/D at the Bay Hill Invitational, Jason Day is officially on my trending down list. A disc injury doesn't sound promising, and it sounds like this injury seems it could affect him long term, so until I see that he is cleared, I have him on my trending down list until a doctor clears that injury of his.
2. Tiger Woods
Unfortunately, Tiger Woods will also be on my trending down list. A W/D at Bay Hill with a nagging neck injury doesn't sound too serious, but that also means he will be now focusing all his prep towards the Masters. Tiger Woods is not the pick to make this week at the Players Championship, but for the 4 majors, he could be a definite favorite in at least one of them depending on his status.
3. Cameron Champ
The PGA Tour rookie that we all thought was gonna burst out and dominate the tour isn't doing too hot, and for this reason he also makes it on my trending down list. With 3 missed cuts and a lone T-28 finish this season, Champ has gotten off to a rough start. Although he is arguably the longest on the PGA Tour, being 187th in Driving Accuracy and 206th in sand save percentage, he is not your pick to make for the brutal TPC Sawgrass, look somewhere else.
1. Xander Schauffele
Don't ever count out Xander Schauffele in any major tournament. His last 5 starts haven't been any worse than Top 25 finish, and he's already won this season. For some odd reason, this guy is often overlooked, but he's always on the leaderboard. People, do yourself a favor and consider Xander a top pick this week at The Players.
2. Charles Howell III
Good ole Chucky Three Sticks is having his typical steady year on tour. All 7 starts he has made this year, he has finished no worse than T-34. With TPC Sawgrass expected to play tougher than last year, CHIII's steady play could get him the W at the Players Championship, or maybe just another Top 5, but seriously, put the literal PGA TOUR human ATM machine on your list to consider this week.
3. Ian Poulter
The American Ryder Cup killer, Ian Poulter will be one of the biggest sleeper picks at the Players this week. His 2019 starts have been no worse than T-33, and his knack for playing in big tournaments will be crucial for Ian, he's quite straight off the tee and if that putter gets hot, nothing will stop him, let's see if he can get a big victory in him that's not named the Ryder Cup.