The organizers of the Players Championship deserve credit for creating the idea of super group pairings for the first 36 holes of the tournaments.
It was cool to see Tiger Woods (Bridgestone TourB XS), Phil Mickelson (Callaway Chrome Soft X) and Rickie Fowler (Titleist Pro V1), playing in the same group, and Jordan Spieth (Titleist Pro V1x), Rory McIlroy (TaylorMade TP5x) and Justin Thomas (Titleist Pro V1x) in another threesome. Only Woods, Spieth and Thomas survived the cut.
You can’t predict what will happen, but hopefully this won’t stop other tournaments from duplicating the idea.
WORLDWIDE WEBB: Webb Simpson (Titleist Pro V1x) has the lead at the halfway point of the tournament – and who could have predicted that?
With the focus on the current top-10 ranked players on the PGA Tour, Simpson entered the tournament with little fanfare.
I checked one odds site and he was 66-1 to win.
He’s currently ranked 36th on the FedEx Cup and 41st in the World Golf Rankings.
Heading into the tournament, he had four top-10 finishes in 13 events. Two tournaments ago, he tied for fifth in the RBC Heritage.
That said, there is a lot of golf left to play – plenty of time for players to make their moves at winning this coveted tournament.
And plenty of time to watch what will happen on the 17th hole – the island green, arguably the most exciting hole in the game.
Simpson carded a double bogey on the 17th hole, the only blip in a round in which he tied the course record with a nine-under par 63.
Whatever happens in the balance of the tournament, this will surely be the hole that will covet the most attention. No matter how much these great players try to avoid plunking their balls into the water, it is simply one of the greatest challenges they face on an annual base.
And when it happens, it just goes to show you it can happen to anyone at any time.
MY PICK SO FAR: I touted Jon Rahm (TaylorMade TP5x) in my prediction and so far he’s in the thick of it. He is six-under par, tied for 17th. I also made mention of Hideki Matsuyama (Srixon Z-Star XV) and he didn’t make the cut. He wasn’t alone.
DAY DOING OK: Fresh off his victory last week, Jason Day (TaylorMade TP5x) is eight-under par and very much in the race. It would be a great story to see him win two weeks in a row. The former world number one is slowly showing signs he’s returning to form.