The PLAYERS Championship is truly a tournament that is up for grabs from the first tee shot until the last putt is made. There many reasons for this, but the three most prominent are the field, the course and the pressure. One of the best fields of the year descends upon the exceedingly difficult Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in an event that has all the pressure of a major championship.
This track is quite tricky, and in order to be successful a player must have a strategy in mind and they must execute to near perfection. Ball striking is of even more importance this week, although there are still some opportunities to get up and down should the ball not be struck perfectly.
I’m going with someone that has experience at this event even though not all of their starts have been stellar (in that case they would probably be a favorite and not a sleeper). But, nevertheless, I like Bo Van Pelt as a quality sleeper this week. He’s coming off of his first top 10 of the 2013 PGA Tour season at the Wells Fargo Championship, which should give him a much-needed confidence boost coming into a week where confidence is imperative.
He hasn’t always made the cut at Sawgrass, but when he has, Van Pelt has finished in the top 10 every time. He has three made cuts (and three top 10 finishes) in eight career starts. So, the main thing for him this week is to get to the weekend. It should be easy sailing for him from there. The good news is that any kinks or rust in his game have been long gone, considering the fact that this will be his 13th event of the season (including the Tavistock Cup).
Van Pelt is far from a guarantee, but that’s what makes him a sleeper instead of a favorite. If he makes it to the weekend, there’s a good chance he could make some noise.