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Thursday marks the opening day of the 2019 players' championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Start times for the opening round have been released and last year's winner, Webb Simpson, is paired with Tiger Woods and Patrick Reed in one of the most outstanding groups.
The American group Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth are other remarkable couples. Meanwhile, the winners of the Open 2018, Francesco Molinari, are joined by Jason Day and Tony Finau.
Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar are some of the best at the start. The world No. 1, Dustin Johnson, will also be involved in the morning, alongside Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia.
Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele are also in the game as soon as the players begin to fight for the $ 2.25 million of the winner over the $ 12.5 million prize money available at Ponde Verda Beach.
Date: Thursday, March 14
TV program (By Dan McDonald of PGA.com):
Direct: PGA Tour Live. NBC Sports App. Sky Go.
7:40 ET / 11; 40h00 GMT
7:50 am / 11:50 am GMT
8:01 am / 12:01 pm GMT
8:11 am / 12:11 pm GMT
8:22 am / 12:22 pm GMT
8:32 am / 12:32 pm GMT
8:43 am / 12:43 pm GMT
8:53 AM / 12:53 GMT
9:04 ET / 13:04 GMT
9:14 am ET / 1:14 pm GMT
9:25 am ET / 1:25 pm GMT
9:35 am ET / 1:35 pm GMT
12:35 ET / 4:35 GMT
12:45 pm / 4:45 pm GMT
12:56 ET / 16:56 pm GMT
1:06 pm / 5:06 pm GMT
13:17 ET / 17: 17 hours GMT
1:27 pm ET / 5 pm GMT
13:38 ET / 17:38 GMT
13h48 ET / 17h: 48h GMT
13:59 ET / 17:59 GMT
14h09 ET / 6: 09h GMT
2:20 pm ET / 6:20 pm GMT
2:30 pm in the afternoon. ET / 18H30 GMT
Johnson and McIlroy are among the top-ranked favorites, according to Kyle Porter of CBS Sports. Porter has expressed surprise that notable names such as Simpson, Reed, Mickelson, Spieth and Henrik Stenson are not getting more buzz.
Some marquee names may be forgotten, but Johnson's favorite status is warranted. The 34-year-old has 20 wins on the PGA Tour after triumphing at the recent WGC-Mexico championship.
Few players are able to match Johnson's power to the driver. Yet unlike most heavyweights, the native of South Carolina is subtle with the wedge and skillful on the greens.
His skills make Johnson great for the rest of the pack, but he needs to show Sawgrass more comfort, despite repeated attempts to crack the course:
Best average of the last three PLAYERS championships:
Adam Scott, 9.7
Dustin Johnson, 19.0
Brooks Koepka, 20.7
Jason Day, 22.0
Ian Poulter, 23.3
* – among the players who participated in all three
McIlroy poses a daunting challenge to Johnson's presumed dominance in Florida. He missed history in Mexico after finishing five shots behind Johnson, but he still has enough motivation to succeed.
With a win tomorrow, @McIlroyRory would reach 15 @PGATOUR, including 4 major ones before the age of 30. Since the first Masters in 1934, only 2 players reached these marks before turning 30: @jacknicklaus and @TigerWoods.
Most of the participants said that their motivation should come from the desire to take a long defeat. McIlroy did not win a tournament in a year. Nevertheless, he still has a range of shots and the natural technique that most of the best players envy.
It is always intriguing to see if Rory, good or bad, will come to a remarkable event. If he keeps his head, the 29-year-old can outdo the others.
The story is similar for Woods, who may have outperformed his potential but who can still activate the style when needed. That's not to say that there is no work in the 43-year-old's game.
Woods turned to Matt Killen for advice on his bet, Ben Everill from PGATour.com. It's a necessary job after "Woods has produced six three-putts in each of his last two tournaments, the Genesis Open and the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, to quell any real challenge."
Woods has a great experience of victory in this tournament:
Aim the OR.
@TigerWoods seems to join @JackNicklaus as triple winner of @THEPLAYERSChamp.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the winner will be a household name. Simpson upset the odds a year ago and players like Molinari, Garcia and Stenson are all capable of doing the same thing.