Who Will Win The Players Championship? Best Picks, Sleepers and Latest Odds for TPC Sawgrass

Rory McIlroy is the bookmakers' favorite to defend his title at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, this week.

According to Oddschecker, the world No. 1 is a is a 7/1 favorite to win at TPC Sawgrass, where he won with a one-shot margin ahead of Jim Furyk last year after finishing at 16-under-par.

There are plenty of reasons why McIlroy returns to TPC Sawgrass as the favorite to retain his title.

Since missing the cut at the Open Championship in July the Northern Irishman, who has four top-10 finishes at The Players, has been in an outstanding run of form.

McIlroy finished tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, extending his run of top-10 finishes to 10 in his last 11 starts and arrives in Florida as the man to beat.

World No. 2 Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas are next in line at 13/1 and 16/1 respectively, while Bryson DeChambeau follows at 22/1 just ahead of Webb Simpson at 25/1.

If McIlroy hopes to defend his title, Rahm arrives at TPC Sawgrass desperate to right the wrongs of 12 months ago. Leading after three rounds, the Spaniard carded a 4-over-par 76 in his final round, which put paid to his hopes of winning the tournament.

Since his meltdown a year ago, however, Rahm has been remarkably consistent with 16 top-10 finishes, the most recent of which came at the WGC-Mexico Championship two weeks ago.

Thomas, meanwhile, has three top-six finishes, including a win, in his last five starts and ranks seventh and eight respectively on the PGA Tour in approaches from 150-175 yards and strokes gained on approach. Both metrics bode well ahead of a tournament that favors extremely accurate iron play.

Simpson has finished tied for 16th at TPC Sawgrass in two of the last three years, with a win in 2018 sandwiched in between and has five top-10 finishes in his last six starts, including a win at the Phoenix Open.

Tommy Fleetwood and Patrick Cantlay are next in line at 27/1.

The former missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week but has four top-25 finishes in six starts since October, including a third place finish at the Honda Classic at the beginning of the month.

Cantlay's run of form, meanwhile, is almost on par with McIlroy's. The American has five top-20 finishes in as many starts since October, including a second and a fourth place finish, and ranks sixth on the tour in both shots gained on approaches to the green and shots gained from tee to green.

Former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka is a 45/1 shot as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury that kept him out of action for three months at the end of last year. The four-time major winner has never finished in the top-10 at TPC Sawgrass and is yet to finish in the top 40 this season.

Among the long shots, Sergio Garcia deserves some attention at 85/1. The 2017 Masters champion hasn't won in the U.S. since his triumph at Augusta but has made the cut at The Players in his last 16 straight appearances, which include a win in 2008 and four top-10 finishes.

Keegan Bradley, meanwhile, is arguably the pick of the long shots at 175/1. The American finished tied for seventh in 2018 and tied for 16th last year, when he was the first round leader.
More importantly, he has carded five scores below 70 in his last eight rounds at TPC Sawgrass.

Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy
Justin Thomas (R) of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland of Northern Ireland talk on the 9th green during the first round of the ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 24, 2019 in Inzai, Japan. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty