Players Championship: Tommy Fleetwood says softer grass will allow aggressive play

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Getty Images

With that in mind, a trio of golfers who fit the bill are Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. Schauffele finished second in this event a season ago, his first time playing The Players Championship. Everyone from the top 50 in the world is playing this week.

"It is not painful now", said Woods, who will play Thursday's opening round with defending champion Webb Simpson and Masters victor Patrick Reed. These golfers will also be competing for a share of the record-setting $12.5 million purse. [Those have been on] long, tough golf course [s].

Day, who able to play 18 holes on Monday, said he had also spoken to Tiger Woods about having injections for back problems. Yardage: 7,189. Par: 72.

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan hits out of the bunker on the third hole during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Woods did not want to commit to a pre-Masters schedule until after The Players was over. The course boasts a ton of water hazards, deep British-style bunkers, and waste areas as well. Woods says TPC Sawgrass in March is a much different beast than the May version.

The Rules of Golf saw a big overhaul, with the overall number reduced from 34 to 24 and many issues that caused penalties in the past - such as a ball moving on a green or hitting a ball twice - no longer do.

Given its level of difficulty, it's no wonder that only six golfers have won this event a couple of times.

No matter. Of Woods' two wins here at the PGA Tour's headquarters, one came in March, the other in May, showing he seems to have figured out the Pete Dye layout no matter what the conditions.

The victor of 80 PGA Tour titles is also consulting putting coach Matt Killen, who works with Justin Thomas, having performed poorly on the greens at the WGC-Mexico. He overcame great odds in winning his first tournament in more than five years when he emerged at The Tour Championship.

According to the PGA, scoring averages for the Players Championship in March are almost one stroke higher over May. He's now second in SG: tee-to-green and first in scoring average and Par 5 scoring. Has a victory in the Waste Management Phoenix Open among three finishes in the top five this season. Given recent form and pure talent, Thomas winning isn't a insane thought whatsoever.

That, essentially, was the message delivered by Tiger Woods as he explained his decision to sit out last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational while, at the same time, insisted he is on track for next month's Masters.

He has placed 16 or better in all but one event. The WGC Match Play tournament is the other.

Tiger went with driver off the par-4 1st and hit a high hook that looked destined for the trees/pine straw left of the fairway. Conners is 19th on tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and is a sleeper selection of our weekly fantasy preview.

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