One of the best weeks on the golf calendar is upon us, with the 2021 Players Championship upon us at Pete Dye’s masterpiece, TPC Sawgrass. Though we never quite know what to expect and who will play well at this nuanced, ultra-difficult design on the site of a former swamp, the finishing holes always seem to produce a dramatic ending, and with a loaded field this week we’d expect the same.
Forty-eight of the top 50 players in the world (minus Brooks Koepka and Matthew Wolff) will tee it up at The Players, with a balanced top part of the odds board. It seems like oddsmakers can’t quite determine who has an advantage here, with Dustin Johnson (12-1) the slight favorite over last week’s winner Bryson DeChambeau (14-1), Rory McIlroy (16-1) and Jon Rahm (16-1). Of that group, Rory has the best record, having lifted the most-recent trophy at TPC Sawgrass in 2019 with last year’s cancelation. Though DJ is on an absolute tear, he has just one top-10 finish in 11 appearances at TPC Sawgrass, and it came in 2019.
Some interesting names follow below, with Xander Schauffele (20-1) and Justin Thomas (20-1) being offered at the lowest odds we’ve seen from them in recent memory. Recent winner Collin Morikawa (22-1) would be an attractive bet, having just won the WGC at Concession in Bradenton, Fla., and Patrick Cantlay (22-1) has also been playing some great golf.
What we know about TPC Sawgrass: Your entire game needs to be on, and trouble lurks around every corner—with 17 water hazards presenting ample opportunities to make a big number. We were joined by Matthew Fitzpatrick on this week’s episode of our “Be Right,” our betting podcast, and Fitzpatrick goes into detail about what you need to do well to play well at TPC Sawgrass (though he’s still searching for all the answers, having breaking 70 just once in 12 rounds played here. But Fitzpatrick, ranked 16th in the world, enters this week on one of the hottest stretches of anybody in the world, with a win in Dubai to end 2020 and three top-15 finishes on the PGA Tour entering this week. Perhaps he’s a sleeper at (40-1) you might like this week?
Here’s a complete list of odds, as of Monday afternoon, from our friends at William Hill:
Players Championship 2021 odds (courtesy of William Hill):
Matthew Fitzpatrick: 40-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout: 66-1
Charles Howell III: 250-1
Scott Harrington: 1,000-1