Top Links:

Get A Golf Handicap

UK Golf Guide

Golfshake Top 100s

Find Golf Travel Deals

Golf Competitions


Community Forum


Tee Times | Search | Reviews


Gear | Tour | Industry Insider


Video Library | Tuition Sections


Join | Log In | Help | Useful Links


2023 Players Championship - 9 Outsiders to Follow

By: | Tue 07 Mar 2023

Pete Dye's Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has often divided opinion, but one key characteristic that can be strongly held in support of the layout's quality is the variety of winners that have triumphed in The Players Championship.

Yes, the likes of Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have won here, but just a quick scroll through the list of champions reveals the likes of Si Woo Kim, Tim Clark, Stephen Ames, Fred Funk and Craig Perks; each deserving victors but not likely to have been among the pre-tournament favourites that week. 

So, having first presented six probable contenders in 2023, here are some outside bets who could make a tilt at lifting this prestigious trophy.

Webb Simpson

The winner five years ago, Simpson's record at Sawgrass otherwise doesn't make too impressive reading, but the 37-year-old is a resolute competitor who is always capable of contending at difficult venues - which he has displayed throughout a career that is perhaps underrated.

Francesco Molinari

Francesco Molinari

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Following a period of struggles, the former Champion Golfer of the Year has shown flashes of his best lately, certainly enough to suggest that he could yet make another Ryder Cup appearance in September. There is much work to be done to accomplish that - but previous results at Sawgrass point to him being suited to this tricky course.

Alex Noren

The 40-year-old was in excellent form at the end of 2022, but his performances have been less impressive lately. Nonetheless, he has played solidly in The Players Championship before and is one of those golfers who goes somewhat under the radar until popping up with a big finish.

Brian Harman

A gritty, fiery competitor, Harman was right in contention two years ago and can boast a more than respectable record at the Stadium Course. He's been far from spectacular recently, but this place could be a tonic for those ills on the golf course.

Ryan Fox

One of the standout players from last season on the DP World Tour, Fox is making his Players Championship debut this week and comes into the event on the back of solid, consistent finishes. There are many unknowns to what we can expect from the New Zealander - but he may just connect with this Pete Dye masterwork.

2024 Players

Russell Knox

Resident of nearby Jacksonville, the Scot finished in a tie for sixth last year and enjoyed his week at Sawgrass. Those positive memories remain and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the former Irish Open winner again defying expectations.

Danny Willett

The Yorkshireman hasn't been in this tournament since 2019 - and his record here is horrendous. So, why is he a potential contender? Simply, the mercurial 2016 Masters champion always seems to reemerge when you least expect it; whether it be at Dubai, Wentworth or St Andrews. 

Min Woo Lee

Making his debut at Sawgrass, the Australian is constantly tipped to follow in the footsteps of his sister Minjee and claim big titles. Well, they don't come much greater than this one; so perhaps he could post a wildcard charge for the victory on Sunday.

Davis Riley

The 26-year-old secured his place in the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool with his excellent performance at Bay Hill last week, so he will enter this Players Championship feeling like he could have a debut to remember in Ponte Vedra.

Related Content

2023 The Players Championship Preview, Picks & Analysis

2023 Players Championship - 6 Golfers to Watch

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.

What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: PGA Tour FedEx Cup

Scroll to top