The 2023 PLAYERS Championship is upon us with a star-studded lineup, and a new Brink’s truck-sized purse, $25 million.
Justin Thomas said it best this week at his press conference in Ponte Vedra, “We have an astronomically higher amount of quality players than they do in their events.” Guess who he was referencing? Deep pockets LIV. The PGA Tour’s version of the Galactric Empire with Emperor
Palpatine Norman in charge.
Get your popcorn ready, the marquee groupings on Thursday and Friday are stacked with the world’s best. This year’s winner will take home $4.5 million, up from $3.6 million last year. For those keeping score at home, the total purse is $10 million more than most Majors.
It’s a miracle how some of these guys survive with rampant inflation eating into these paltry tournament winnings.
As is tradition, I too will be trying to take home my hard-earned share of winnings this weekend, but was responsible and only entered one PLAYERS Championship Pool this year. Two players from the Top 10, two from 11-20, two ranked 21-30, and two from the remaining field. My selections this year are:
Max Homa, Jon Rahm
Cameron Young, Shane Lowry
Tommy Fleetwood, Sahith Theegala
Rickie Fowler, Jason Day
Overall, I’m going with Max Homa (+2000) to take home the 2023 PLAYERS Championship. He’s been playing some great golf, starts off the tournament with a good vibe pairing in JT and Jordan, and I forecast this weekend is when he is able to keep it all together and ascend into the next level of “World Class Player.” He’s come a long way from being golf’s favorite Twitter follow.
No doubt with Homa playing as consistently as he is the Cal grad is due for a BIG victory, and Jay Monahan would like nothing more than to see a fan favorite in the winner’s circle this Sunday with Cam Smith possibly lurking in the crowd. (FWIW, he does give a creeper Joe Dirt-vibe. But we do miss him.)
I’ve also made note of these odds for the weekend as my Dark Horse picks and some other potentially lucrative payouts that caught my eye:
Rickie Fowler to win Outright (+5500)
Jon Rahm to be Top European (+250)
Xander Schauffele to beat Matt Fitzpatrick 1st Round (-125)
Shane Lowery to beat Will Zalatoris 1st Round (+125)