Previewing The Players Championship; The field, course and predictions

8am Round-Up: Rory McIlroy 'cried' watching Sergio Garcia win Masters

On the eve of his Players Championship title defence, Jason Day has set himself the considerable task of reeling in runaway world No.1 Dustin Johnson in 2017.

"Being able to climb that mountain is very hard, because sitting back and knowing that I've done it before, how much work I actually had to put into it, is tough in itself, " Day said. Much of the original design points of the par-4 had become irrelevant as nearly everyone on the PGA Tour could drive over the hard areas. - It is the most impartial of tournaments on the PGA TOUR, played on a TPC Sawgrass course that favors no particular style, pedigree or seasoning.

With all of that out of the way, let's dive in to the DraftKings fantasy golf picks for The PLAYERS, starting with the top-tier options that will cost you a pretty penny to have in your DFS lineup this weekend.

"I maybe just haven't quite had that the last couple of months, combined with a couple of poor shots here and there".

"I did give myself some opportunities coming in, but unfortunately, I just had a couple of mistakes", said Day, aiming to become the first repeat victor in Players history.

Rory McIlroy is coming back to The Players Championship after a five-week layoff.

"I know I can play it really well if I play it smart", he insisted.

"It seems like with everything that's went on the last few weeks - with getting married and teaming up with TaylorMade - it seems like everything's very settled", he said.

Speaking ahead of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the Irishman declared he's mentally in the best shape of his career and he is on top of his game after impressing at the Masters. Nick Price's tie for fifth in 1994 is the best finish by a returning champion. He tied for 28th. I'm 28 years old.

"There you go", he replied. Johnson's tournament history at The Players includes one top-30 finish in eight starts - a tie for 28th previous year. All I know is that they shortened the 12th hole into a driveable par 4, which usually adds excitement. The shortest hole on the course (technically 137 yards from the small tee area) causes the most stress, as the green is in the middle of a lake, and only accessed by a very thin causeway from the back left.

8am Round-Up: Rory McIlroy 'cried' watching Sergio Garcia win Masters

Not even the TOUR's hottest player is immune to the penalizing nature of TPC Sawgrass.

Indeed, that possibly looks a big enough quote, although it has to be pointed out that he has a awful Sawgrass record, his 28th past year being Johnson's best result in eight attempts.

"I feel like I'm playing really well right now", Johnson said.

Day, ranked No. 3, is defending champion at THE PLAYERS.

That's what awaits the 147-man field competing on a course that has been referred to as frightening, dramatic and annoying over the years. Johnson returned from a four-week layoff last week and finished runner-up to Brian Harman, who sank a 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a one-shot win. You don't need to strictly avoid first timers here, but like we talked about at The Masters, experience does play a pivotal role.

PGA TOURTHE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPSite: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The 15-time PGA Tour victor won his last three starts prior to his return at the Wells Fargo Championship (Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play). He was No 1 in the world with a points average only Tiger Woods had reached over the last two decades.

It does not give preferential treatment to the longest hitters or the best putters.

"I think so", said Rory McIlroy when I asked him if there was too much risk versus reward on the hole. "I think I do a pretty good job of it". I can't see him falling off.


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