Players A Tournament Where The Course Is The Star 2009: Ponte Vedra

Players A tournament where the course is the star

– Even with the strongest field in golf, the Players Championship is among the few tournaments where the biggest star is the golf course. The Stadium Course on the TPC Sawgrass has a personality all its own. The winning score has ranged from a record 24-under 264 by Greg Norman in 1994 to 3-under 285 by David Duval in 1999. The list of champions is as impressive as any – Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love III, Nick Price, Fred Couples – yet no one has ever repeated as champion. It can look easy. But it can play hard. A small sampling of players in the days before the Players Championship showed how complex this place can be. They were asked to describe the TPC Sawgrass in one word. “Exciting,” offered three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, the only player to be runner-up in consecutive years. “What I mean by that is that it’s not a big brute of a course with long, boring par 4s. There’s quite a lot of short, tricky par 4s out there. And there’s a lot of intimidating shots. A lot of water. It’s a course that’s exciting at all times.”
The Players Championship did not have Woods last year, the No. 1 attraction in golf, and there was excitement aplenty. It ended with a sudden-death playoff between Sergio Garcia and Paul Goydos – the first playoff to start on the 17th hole – and Goydos promptly hit his tee shot into the water.

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