Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The dreams, the nightmares, the numbers and the cursing of the 17th hole, 2C

TPC makes itself at home among PGA's four majors

The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach has long had the feel of a major tournament. Ever since it moved to the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in 1982, it has drawn solid fields and big crowds. And it has one of the most recognized holes in golf, the par-3, 135-yard 17th with its island green.

Last year, the event got an even bigger boost when it was moved from March to early May, out of the Masters' large shadow. The Players had been two weeks before Augusta, which meant golfers were more focused on honing their games for the year's first major.

As the schedule is now, there are five big tournaments in five months, Masters (April), Players (May), U.S. Open (June), British Open (July) and PGA Championship (August).

"I think this can only help it because we always had that huge gap between the Masters and the U.S. Open,'' Tiger Woods told the New York Times. Woods is out of this year's tournament while he rehabs from knee surgery. "And now the Players is a wonderful fit to bridge the gap."

Another reason for the switch is that May usually provides better weather. The unpredictable patterns in March caused rain delays. The 2005 tournament, for example, had weather problems, forcing a 36-hole finish on Sunday.

Lastly, the drier conditions allow the course to be played as designer Pete Dye wanted it, hard and fast. In March, the course was overseeded with rye grass. In May, the course is played on Bermuda grass, which creates a faster surface. Also, before the 2007 tournament, TPC Sawgrass was dug up and replaced with 6 to 8 inches of water-draining sand underneath the grass to aid in drainage.

"March was a tough time for this tournament," three-time winner Jack Nicklaus said. "The golf course was never really in the condition you wanted it. You always want a fast golf course if you can. A fast golf course produces a better champion."

>>fast facts

Players Championship

When/where: Today-Sunday; Ponte Vedra Beach

Course: TPC Sawgrass, Players Stadium Course (7,215 yards, par 72)

Purse: $9.5-million; winner's share: $1.71-million

Defending champion: Phil Mickelson

17th hole: Live video coverage 9 a.m. today and Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, pgatour.com

TV today: 1-7 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight, Golf Channel

Weather today: Partly cloudy, high 88, wind 10-20 mph, 20 percent chance of rain.

>>fast facts

Players Championship

When/where: Today-Sunday; Ponte Vedra Beach

TV: 1-7 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight, Golf Channel

TPC makes itself at home among PGA's four majors 05/07/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 10:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.