The 2019 Players Championship features a field of 144 of the world's elite golfers vying for a $12.5 million purse, the largest on the PGA Tour. The champion will collect $2.25 million in addition to a five-year PGA Tour membership exemption and three-year exemption into each major. The 2019 Players Championship tee times begin on Thursday, with Tiger Woods, Webb Simpson, and Patrick Reed in one of the featured groups at 1:27 p.m. ET. The latest 2019 Players Championship odds list World No. 1 Dustin Johnson as the Vegas favorite at 12-1, with Rory McIlroy (14-1), Justin Thomas (16-1) and Justin Rose (18-1) going off at 18-1 or shorter. Six of the last nine Players Championship events have been decided by two strokes or fewer, and with major champions like Woods, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day in the field at TPC Sawgrass, we could see another tight finish. Before you lock in your 2019 Players Championship picks or enter a PGA DFS tournament on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, be sure to see the PGA Tournament predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model.
SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the past eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has been spot-on early in the 2018-19 season. It was high on champion Dustin Johnson at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, projecting him as one of the top two contenders from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka's (9-1) victory at the CJ Cup earlier this season. Additionally, it correctly called Bryson DeChambeau's (9-1) seven-shot victory at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Anyone who has followed the model is up huge.
Now that the 2019 Players Championship field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Woods, a two-time winner of this event and a 14-time major champion, doesn't even crack the top 10.
Woods withdrew from last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, an event he has won a record eight times, due to a neck strain. The 43-year-old has dealt with multiple injuries in recent years but has been playing extremely well, finishing in the top 10 in three of his past five PGA Tour starts, which includes a victory at the 2018 Tour Championship. And with a win this week, Woods would tie Jack Nicklaus for the most victories in the history of the Players Championship at three.
However, Woods' last Players Championship victory came all the way back in 2013. He also enters this week's event hitting just 64.29 percent of fairways off the tee, which could cause major trouble at TPC Sawgrass. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in this loaded field.
Another surprise: Francesco Molinari, a 22-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
Molinari is coming off an impressive victory last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He shot eight-under on the final day, beating Matthew Fitzpatrick by two strokes. Molinari, the reigning British Open champion, will enter the Players Championship 2019 full of confidence, and his strong iron play and prolific ball-striking ability suit TPC Sawgrass extremely well. Plus, he's proven he has what it takes to compete at the Players Championship, finishing seventh or better in three of his last four starts at this event.
Molinari has an Official World Golf Ranking of No. 7 and is 13th in money with $1.88 million. He's also 20th in FedEx Cup points and has all the tools needed to climb the 2019 Players Championship leaderboard quickly starting Thursday.
Also, the model says five other golfers with 2019 Players Championship odds of 20-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2019 Players Championship? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the 2019 Players Championship odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full Players Championship projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors.
Dustin Johnson 12-1 Rory McIlroy 14-1 Justin Thomas 16-1 Justin Rose 18-1 Brooks Koepka 22-1 Francesco Molinari 22-1 Rickie Fowler 22-1 Tiger Woods 25-1 Xander Schauffele 25-1 Tommy Fleetwood 28-1 Jon Rahm 28-1 Bryson DeChambeau 28-1 Sergio Garcia 33-1
Jason Day 35-1