As is normally the case, the Players Championship will boast one of golf’s strongest fields once again this year.
The field will feature 147 players, the most contestants at the tournament since 2004, and 48 of the world’s top 50 ready to battle Pete Dye’s newly tweaked design. Brandt Snedeker (wrist injury) and Thomas Pieters (unspecified) are the two top-50 players not teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass.
Several others have qualified for the event but will not be playing. Jon Curran (rib injury), Colt Knost (wrist injury), John Senden (personal issue) and Tiger Woods (back injury) will not participate.
Like other majors, the Players Championship has specific criteria on who can play that causes some moving and shaking in the weeks leading up to the event. Cameron Smith won the Zurich Classic to play his way in, while Lee Westwood gained entry by moving into the world’s top 50 on May 1, even though he didn’t compete the preceding week.without playing last week.
Other unique entries include Constellation Senior Players Championship winner Bernhard Langer and 2016 Web.com Tour money list winner Grayson Murray.
Perhaps no two players are more surprised to be in the field than Ian Poulter and Brian Gay. Both Poulter and Gay thought they fell short of being fully exempt on the PGA Tour after needing to earn a certain amount of money or FedEx Cup points via major medical extensions. However, Gay crunched some numbers and noticed a discrepancy in how points were handed out last season compared to this season, leading to both players earning full-time exemptions and berths into the Players Championship.
Below is a list of those playing this week:
Tournament Winners in the Past Year
Billy Hurley III
Si Woo Kim
Gold Medal Winner of the Men’s Golf Competition – 2016 Olympics
Top 125 on Prior Season’s FedExCup Points List
Charles Howell III
Harold Varner III
Tyrone Van Aswegen
Top 125 (Medical)
Winner – THE PLAYERS Championship (last 5 years)
Winner – The Open Championship (last 5 years)
Winners of the Arnold Palmer Inv. & the Memorial (Last 3 Years)
Top 50 – World Golf Ranking
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Winner – Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship – Prior Year
Leading Money Winner from Web.com Tour Prior Year