Paul Atkin profile photo Henrik Stenson EW The Players Champinship

The Players Championship, known as the 'fifth' major, returns to the splendid TPC Sawgrass at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida this week

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Paul Atkin profile photo

Author: Paul Atkin

Tags: Golf

Published: 08:21 07/05/2014

The 'fifth' major returns to the splendid course at TPC Sawgrass. Pete Dye's most well known course is a real test of a golfer's all round ability. The course measures 7215 yards, and has many fairly narrow fairways, with small greens being the order of the day. Many holes will require mid irons to the green, and a good ball striker who can shape the ball both ways have an advantage. It has to be mentioned that some of the greens have suffered this year where the organisers have tried a procedure to protect the greens, but I'm afraid the procedure has gone wrong, resulting in a poorer standard than usual for three or four holes. As ever on this course, a watery grave is the welcome for many errant balls, and no more than the treacherous 17th island hole.

The weather is a little mixed with temperatures in the 80s, but with some rain at the weekend and some moderate winds.

Hopefully we can play up winnings from last week, when Anders Hansen came second and landed the 50/1 E/W return. It should of been a win, but we were mugged on the line by Felipe Aguilar, who finished two holes in four shots.

Last year, our tip Sergio Garcia went so close to winning before hitting multiple balls into the water on the 17th, and even managed to finish outside the places. I was so annoyed I was tempted to go and give the neighbours cat a kick!

I'm going to tip up a couple of players who have form here, but both need to find a bit better putting form.

Henrik Stenson has not really got going this year, and I feel that has to be a reaction to winning everything in sight last season, just needs that major on the CV. He has shown that he is getting back to form recently, and it would be no surprise if the 2009 a Champion was to contend. Tied fifth in China recently, with a final round of 65, it's time he gets back to winning ways.

Another player who has had recent little form is Phill Mickelson. His attentions are very much focused on the US Open this year, the only major he has not won, but he will be desperate to find some winning form before then. A real mixture of form last week at Quail Hollow, couple of high 70s, coupled with a 67 & a 63. His putting was fairly dreadful in the last round, but there's are grounds for believing that this course might just recapture Phil's attention. Odds over 20s are always worth considering for Phil on this course.

For my last selection I will tip up Zach Johnson. He was on fire early season, and whilst not quite in that form is still playing some really consistent golf. He has a fine record here, and has decent E/W chances.

No animals were harmed in the making of this article.

Recommendations:
Henrik Stenson - 25/1 Paddy Power E/W 6 Places
Phil Mickelson - 25/1 Stan James E/W 7 Places
Zach Johnson - 35/1 BetVictor E/W 6 Places

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