Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Spieth returning to Travelers Championship to defend title

Spieth returning to Travelers Championship to defend title

As for the Players Championship, Matsuyama has finished no worse than 23 in each of his four appearances here, which includes a seventh place finish in 2016. Unofficially dubbed the 'fifth major, ' The Players is highly regarded and played at the famous TPC at Sawgrass course. It could be a notable name ... or it could be the Cinderella story. The bulk of the field is in this tournament because they won a PGA event since the 2017 Players, or they ranked inside the Top 125 in FedEx cup points at the end of previous year.

"Trust me, I'm fully aware of how special this is for me", he said, recalling that 12 months ago he could barely walk without severe pain, let alone swing a golf club.

McIlroy said he now looks forward to The Players Championship, even though he has yet to finish closer than four shots of the victor.

Perhaps it's easier to figure out who won't win this week.

Normally, the defending champion are included in articles like this but the groups later on are so full of firepower that Si Woo Kim just didn't fit.

"If you shoot a three there, it's a bonus but I'll be aiming for a four".

The majors have all been running significantly longer than the Players, but it still serves to illustrate how hard a tournament it is to win.

The who's who in men's golf will gather at TPC Sawgrass from May 10-13, knowing that victory will come with a champion's cheque of $1.89 million plus other perks including a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

Any UK golfer. Scotland's Sandy Lyle (1987) is the only PLAYERS champ from the British Isles.

"I haven't even had to ask", Spieth said.

Any local resident. There are six North Florida-based players in the field, led by past FedExCup champ Billy Horschel (in fact, his remodeled house was recently featured in a local magazine). The short, but straight Fred Funk won in 2005.

South Korea's Kim Si-Woo, who stunned the field previous year to emerge as the youngest Players champion, will take another stab at history. Neither is in the field this week. It was the first ace in 6,300 shots in the Players Championship and he did it with a yellow ball.

Still, Johnson thinks 14-time major victor Woods carries a bit of his old fear factor, especially when he is up near the top of leaderboards.

Any player age 42 or over. "But when you're with Tiger and Phil, it's a totally different animal".

The Aussie won twice in three weeks during the spring of 2016, but hasn't won since, and this week plans to use the long putter without anchoring it.

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