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Updated Sunday, December 15, 2019, 12:11 PM CT


No, the Players Championship Is Not a Major

March 18, 2019

McIlroy wins The Players Championship

Rory McIlroy made two late birdies Sunday at The Players Championship and closed with a 2-under 70 to pull off the win.

Jim Furyk, the 48-year-old former Ryder Cup captain nearly pulled off a miracle. Furyk, one of the last players to get in the strongest field in golf, capped off a 67 with a shot so good into the 18th that he started walking when he hit it. It plopped down 3 feet from the hole for a birdie to take the lead.

McIlroy, one of eight players to have at least a share of the lead in the final round, was coming off a bogey on the 14th to fall behind and was in trouble with a tee shot that found a bunker right of the fairway. He responded with his best shot of the day to 15 feet for birdie.

He was solid to the end on a chilly, cloudy day and finished at 16-under 272 to win The Players on his 10th try.

The 29-year-old from Northern Ireland has never won the Masters, which is next month, and it's the only major he lacks for the career Grand Slam.

''This is probably the deepest field of the year, with so much on the line,'' McIlroy said. ''I'm thankful it was my turn this week.''

Last men teeing off, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood,  lost their way early, and then late.

Rahm, who had a one-shot lead, started with three bogeys in four holes. He was still in the game until he failed to birdie the 16th, and then put his tee shot in the water on the 17th. He closed with a 76 and tied for 12th.

Fleetwood opened with a three-putt bogey and made all pars until hitting into the water on the 11th for bogey. He made eagle on the 16th to have a fleeting chance until coming up short of the island. He shot 73 and tied for fifth.

McIlroy emerged as the winner, his 15th on the PGA Tour and 23rd in his career worldwide. He earned $2.25 million and moved to the top of the FedEx Cup standings.




The 2019 Players Championship

When: Mar 14–17, 2019

Where: TPC Sawgrass, Palm Valley, FL

Course: Players Stadium Course

Purse: $12,500,000

   The purse for The Players Championship increased for the second consecutive year. A jump from $11 million last year to $12.5 million for this year's event, set for March 14-17 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., making The Players' purse the largest currently on the PGA Tour schedule.

As of 2019 the winner receives $2.25 million, the winner's share (18%) of the largest purse in golf ($12.5 million), and receives 80 points towards his world ranking, the largest share aside from the majors, for which winners earn 100 points. For comparison, the winners of the four individual World Golf Championships generally receive between 70 and 78 points.

Exemptions

The winner also receives a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour (formerly ten years), a three-year invitation to the Masters Tournament, three-year exemptions for the U.S. Open and The Open Championship, and an exemption to the next three PGA Championship tournaments starting in 2018. The winner earns 600 FedEx Cup points, if a PGA Tour member.

Making the Cut

There is just one cut, which takes place after 36 holes. The top 70 players (including ties) make the cut. Any player in 71st place or worse is cut. Every player who makes the cut can finish all four rounds since there isn't a second cut.

Repeat that

No winner has ever won The Players Championship in back-to-back years. Jack Nicklaus won three of the first five events, but in alternating years on different courses. 


"The Island hole"

HOLE #17

PAR 3, 137 Yards

The island green at the 17th hole of TPC Sawgrass is as famous as any par-3 in the world, and despite playing a maximum of 150 yards, it presents one of the most difficult tee shots in golf.

 The signature hole is a short length par 3 with a wide green that narrows to the right side. The right side of the green is protected by a small maintained bunker, which sometimes will be a relief to players who come up short of the green. Club selection on this hole is critically essential; with the tricky winds of spring, the Championship could be won or lost here. A larger spectator mound was created behind the green.

This year Ryan Moore holed out from 121 yards away. His ball struck the flagstick and dropped straight down into the cup.

It was just the ninth ace on the hole in tournament history and the first in two years. The PGA Tour reports that there were 857 tee shot attempts between aces there.

Tiger Woods hit two in the water on Friday to shoot a quadruple bogey - the first time he's ever done that..

A $100 wager would yield a $350 profit if someone in the 144-player field were able to make an ace at TPC Sawgrass’s famous island green.


Here's what the 17th hole looked like for the week in 2017:

Balls in the water: 69

Eagles: 1

Birdies: 68

Bogeys: 51

Doubles: 38



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Ran DeBord ~ All Access Sporting News  (AASNSports)

Sources for this article include:  PGA.com, PGA-media,  AP, Twitter, AASNSports

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