Kim Si-woo with Players Championship Trophy

5 reasons to watch the Players Championship

Here’s why it’s time to get excited by the biggest event outside the majors, live on Sky Sports The Players

Alligators, albatrosses and a very famous Tiger – if you think the Players Championship is just another golf event, think again

The Players Championship, from Thursday 10 May, 12.30pm, Sky Sports The Players/HD (CH 515/505)

Known as golf’s unofficial fifth major thanks to its history, star power and large prize fund, the Players Championship delivers spectacular action season after season. 

 

The past few years have seen some thrilling finishes. In 2015, Rickie Fowler triumphed in an ultra-tight three-way playoff against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner. Then last year, 21-year-old South Korean Kim Si-woo came from two strokes behind at the start of the final round to win by three and become the youngest winner in the tournament’s history.

 

This year, a lot of the game’s big names are in great form, and it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen.

All four rounds of the event are exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf – which will be known as Sky Sports The Players from 7-14 May – and just in case you aren’t excited enough already, here are five further reasons you need to reserve yourself a place on the sofa…

 

1. Tiger is on the prowl

Tiger Woods


In any normal year, Rory McIlroy’s return to form would be the top golfing story. But 2018 is not a normal year. Why? For the first time in a long time, Tiger Woods (above) is fully fit and challenging at the top events. Golf’s biggest cat has won this tournament twice – and he could be about to do it again.

 

2. The course features an infamous hole

The best-known hole at TPC Sawgrass in Florida is the par-three 17th. It’s just 137 yards long, which sounds easy enough… until you realise that the green is almost completely surrounded by water. “It's a fabulous hole that creates havoc,” says former winner Adam Scott. Last year, 69 balls ended up at the bottom of the pond – a lot, but not a patch on the all-time tournament record of 93.

 

3. If the ’gators don’t get you, the birds might

The alligators that patrol Sawgrass’ lakes aren’t the only animals worth keeping an eye on. Snakes are also lurking. And then there are the ball-stealing seagulls. Yes, you read that correctly. In 1998, a cheeky gull swooped down, dribbled Brad Fabel’s ball across the green, picked it up in its beak, flew off and dropped the ball in the water. Fortunately for the American, he was able to replace his ball without penalty. 

 

4. Anything can happen

And we mean anything. In 2017, Rafa Cabrera-Bello hit the first ever albatross at the par-five 16th in the course’s 37-year history, rocketing up the leaderboard from outside the top ten to finish fourth. In 2015, Rickie Fowler played the last four holes in five under par to force a play-off, which he won after a sudden-death fourth hole. And in 2013, Sergio Garcia finished with a quadruple bogey and a double bogey to fall from joint first to eighth.

 

5. We’re due a British winner

Ian Poulter


The last Brit to triumph at the Players Championship was Scotland’s Sandy Lyle in 1987. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Englishman Ian Poulter (above) was joint runner-up in 2017, and the home nations currently have five players in the world’s top 20. Maybe, just maybe, this is going to be our year…

 

The Players Championship, from Thursday 10 May, 12.30pm, Sky Sports The Players/HD (CH 515/505)

Watch on the go

Virgin TV customers who subscribe to Sky Sports can watch on the Sky Sports app, anywhere in the UK with a WiFi or mobile data connection. Not only will you be able to take your Sky packages with you, but you get in-depth sports coverage, as well as exclusive videos and interviews. And, also on iPad, you can access extra features, including Sky Sports’ cutting-edge second-screen functions. Download from the Apple app store for iPad or iPhone, or from Google Play.

 

Upgrade to Sky Sports now

Don’t have Sky Sports? You can find out about our Sky Sports package and upgrade here.

HD: HD TV required to view HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package. 

Sky Sports: You must subsribe to Sky Sports in SD to take these channels in HD. Sky Sports News HD is not included. Content available to view depends on TV package. 

Sky Sports available as an add-on for an additional monthly charge if not included in your package. Premium channels must be kept for at least 30 days. 

Sky Sports App: Only available via the Sky Sports app (selected iOS and Android devices only) or website to customers who subscribe to these channels. Separate End User License Agreements and terms and conditions apply to the Sky Sports app and website. Selected content may not be availavle to view . Live streaming and On Demand available in UK with broadband, WiFi or 3G/4G only. Minimum 800 kbps recommended per device accessing the service. Maximum of 2 devices.