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As the PGA Tour stops at TPC Sawgrass in Florida for this week’s Players Championship, we’re betting there’s going to be a back-to-back winner.

And there are two players in this star-studded field with the chance to go back-to-back.

Confused? Well, we’ll clear it up for you.

The first back-to-back winner we are looking at is Rory McIlroy at +1600 at DraftKings. Last year’s Players Championship was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic so the defending champion is McIlroy who won the event in 2019.

But then there’s our second back-to-back winner possibility, Bryson DeChambeau at +1500. DeChambeau won last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and is hitting his stride and a second straight victory is certainly not out of the question.

Odds To Win The Players Championship From DraftKings

DraftKingsOdds To Win
Dustin Johnson+1200
Bryson DeChambeau+1500
Rory McIlroy +1600
 Jon Rahm +1600
Xander Schauffele +2000
Justin Thomas +2000
Patrick Cantlay +2200
Collin Morikawa +2200
Tony Finau+2200
Webb Simpson+2200

Big-Time Field Means Big-Time Payday

Many players will tell anyone and everyone that if they can’t win a major, this event is the next one they want to put on their resume. It’s that prestigious.

Plus the payouts don’t hurt either. The winner will pocket $2.7 million of the $15 million purse.

McIlroy Looking For That Little Spark

With that in mind, we’re leaning to McIlroy who knows a thing or two about winning big events as he’s won four majors in his PGA Tour career.

We’re leaning heavily on McIlroy to repeat this week for one simple fact: He’s on his game.

Since 2011 only 12 golfers have successfully defended their titles. One guy, Brooks Koepka, has done it twice.

This week we figure McIlroy has the drive and the momentum to join that elite group.

McIlroy tuned up for this event with a T-10 at last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. But his game has been strong for most of 2021. He’s recorded six top 20s in his last seven events. His one non-top-20 was a missed cut at The Genesis Invitational. And, believe it or not, we’re looking at that MC as a positive.

It’s All About Focus

But there’s an even better sign that McIlroy is laser-focused because of what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks.

Cue the ‘Jaws’ theme: It’s just about time for the Masters.

See, McIlroy is still haunted by the one that got away…the one he couldn’t land back in 2011 when he had a four-shot lead heading into Sunday at Augusta National.

We know…what does this have to do with the Tournament Players Championship?

Well, in a word, everything. See McIlroy was headed to unprecedented heights back in 2011 with, gasp, talk of Tiger Woods-like expectations.

But then came that fateful Sunday that stalled out his skyrocketing career as he carded an 80 and finished T-15. It didn’t derail the Irishman but it sure put a dent in the armor. He’s been battling back shot by shot, tournament by tournament, and win by win.

We’re thinking he is back focused on his game and winning this week is that next step.

The 17th Hole Is The Star

TPC Sawgrass, the headliner in the TPC family of 32 courses, is highlighted by one of Pete Dye’s best innovations–the par-3 17th hole and the island green. Well, if you want to get technical it was Pete’s wife, Alice, who actually came up with the idea of the island green but that’s a different story.

But, yes, that island green will again take center stage.

Plenty of tournaments have been won right here. Just ask Rickie Fowler. This is the site of the nine-time Tour winner’s most historic victory as he claimed the 2015 title.

He did it in style, winning in a playoff. And he did it with a birdie on that tough-as-nails 17th. In fact, he birdied that hole five of the six times he played it that week…including both times in the playoff.

Don’t Forget About DeChambeau

DeChambeau is on quite the roll in this wraparound season. He won his first major, the 2020 U.S. Open. He also won last week so he’s used to dealing with stacked fields.

And this one is filled to the brim.

And for our third betting pick we’re going to look down the odds board at Jason Day at +5000. He won here in 2016 and was T-7 in 2019 and T-5 in 2018 so he knows his way around TPC Sawgrass.

About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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