12 Top Golfers To Bet On At The Players Championship 2024

It’s time for THE PLAYERS Championship 2024 tournament and the 50th edition of the biggest non-major event on the PGA Tour schedule. It’s also the richest with a $25 million prize pool for the second straight year, and defending champion Scottie Scheffler is one of 12 top golfers to bet on at The Players Championship. I’ve reprinted the article here I posted a week ago on Forbes, which follows Scheffler’s 5-shot win this past week in The Arnold Palmer Invitational – the same 5-shot margin he won the 2023 Players Championship by to maintain his spot as the No. 1 player in the world.

The Players Championship Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary In 2024

A total of 144 players will navigate Pete Dye’s hazards and water on 17 holes at the 7,275-yard Par 72 Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida—home of the PGA Tour. That includes the famed island Par 3 at No. 17.

The winner cashes in $4.5 million, and the top 5 finishers all earn more than $1 million. Eight of the last 10 Players Championship winners are also major champions with only Si Woo Kim (2017) and Rickie Fowler (2015) without a major championship title. An asterisk (*) by a player’s name below indicates major champion.

The Players Championship 2024

Leading favorites and contenders golf odds from leading online sportsbooks refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting. The Players Championship odds to win along with tournament matchups and props will be available Monday ahead of the tournament on March 14-17. Any additional player profiles, odds, stats and notes may be added the week of the tournament.

  1. Scottie Scheffler * — The Players Championship winner in 2023 will be the favorite again after going off as the co-favorite at 10/1 odds last year with Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm. Scheffler (-17) won by 5-shots, and the 27-year-old No. 1 ranked player in the world is making his fourth Players start. He finished T55 and missed cut (MC) in his other two appearances.
  2. Rory McIlroy * — The 34-year-old No. 2 player in the world missed the cut last year for the third time in his last five appearances. McIlroy (-16) also won The Players in 2019 and finished top-12 four straight years from 2012-2016.
  3. Viktor Hovland — The 2023 FedEx Cup champion finished T3 at 10 under par last year in his third Players start. The 26-year-old Norwegian finished T9 in 2022 and MC on debut.
  4. Justin Thomas * — Only McIlroy (24) has more PGA Tour wins from this group than 30-year-old Justin Thomas (15), who also won the 2021 Players Championship at 22/1 pre-tournament odds. In eight starts, he’s also finished T3 in 2016 and T11 in 2018 but was T60 last year. Thomas is currently ranked No. 22 in the world, but missed the FedEx Cup Playoffs last year (top 70 players in FedExCup Standings).
  5. Xander Schauffele — The 30-year-old No. 5 player in the world finished T2 in his debut in 2018, but missed the cut in his next three appearances before finishing T19 last year.
  6. Patrick Cantlay — The No. 6 player in the world finished T19 last year for his best finish in six starts. The 31-year-old missed the cut in his three appearances prior to last year.
  7. Collin Morikawa * — The 27-year-old shot a 7 under par 65 in Round 1 last year, but finished -7 and T13 for his best finish in three starts.
  8. Jordan Spieth * — The 30-year-old 13-time PGA Tour winner finished T19 last year for his best finish since T4 on debut in 2014. Between then he’s missed the cut five times and failed to finish in the top 30. Spieth is currently ranked No. 13 in the world.
  9. Max Homa — The No. 8 player in the world finished T6 last year and T13 in 2022 after missing the cut in his debut in 2021.
  10. Ludvig Aberg — The 24-year-old Swedish star earned his way onto the PGA Tour last year and made the European Ryder Cup team. Six weeks later he won his first PGA Tour title at the RSM Classic. Aberg is already up to No. 11 in the world rankings and makes his Players Championship debut.
  11. Hideki Matsuyama * — The 32-year-old Japanese star picked up his 9th PGA Tour victory in the 2024 Genesis Invitational. He’s made a big move up the world rankings to No. 20 after finishing 2023 at No. 46. Matsuyama also finished 5th in last year’s Players Championship and has two other top-10 finishes in eight Players starts.
  12. Tommy Fleetwood — The 33-year-old Englishman is still without a PGA Tour win in 130 starts. But he’s ranked No. 12 in the world with his stellar play that includes a T7 (2018) and T5 (2019) in The Players and finished T27 last year but did shoot 65 on Saturday.

Others: Jason Day * won in 2016 and finished top-10 in 2018 and 2019. He finished T19 last year, and the 36-year-old has 13 PGA Tour wins and is ranked No. 19 in the world. No. 7-ranked Wyndham Clark * finished T27 last year for his best performance after going MC, MC, DQ in his three previous starts. No. 9 Matt Fitzpatrick * missed the cut last year for the fourth time in seven starts. The 29-year-old Englishman ended at T9 in 2021 for his best finish. No. 10 Brian Harman * is the oldest player listed above at age 37. His British Open win last summer moved him up into the top 10, and he makes his 12th Players Championship start with three top-10 finishes including T3 in 2021.

Iconic Island Green And Par 3 At Hole No. 17

The PGA Tour headquarters is located just South of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. It is surrounded by a large freshwater lake, echoing the iconic “Island Green” 17th hole at The Players Stadium Course. Fans will be tuning in to watch the players hit short wedge shots into the famous Par 3.

Types of bets and how to read the odds

There will be plenty of prop bets offered by the leading online sportsbooks, including Will there be a hole-in-one on the 17th hole during the 2023 Players Championship?

Last year sportsbooks offered the hole-in-one prop at +210 odds for yes, and three players made a hole-in-one on the iconic 17th hole.

The Most Watched And Wagered Golf Tournament?

The Players has an international reach on NBC/Golf Channel and digital coverage on ESPN+ and Discovery in more than 200 countries and 27 languages. The Golf Channel and NBC will provide more than 45 hours of live coverage with limited commercial interruptions, and the digital platforms carry golf action for another 167 hours.

The advance weather forecast shows mid-70s temperatures with a 50% chance of rain showers Friday-Sunday and winds up to 15 mph. Recall that in 2022, the golfers battled rainy weather and delays that forced the first Monday finish at The Players in 17 years. Cameron Smith, now on the LIV Golf Tour, won the event. He’s not eligible to play in the 2024 Players Championship, nor is Jon Rahm or any other LIV golfers.

Stats And Trends At TPC Sawgrass

TPC Sawgrass is considered a positional and second shot golf course where strong iron players and ball strikers excel. Strong course management and patience is required. The tight Pete Dye design can be tricky with sightlines, and hazards await for players that are not accurate from the tee or precise with their irons and on approach. The quirky greenside bunkers and undulations put an emphasis on scrambling and short game, and the runoff areas around the greens allow players more options and creativity.

Big bombers have no real advantage. Greens in Regulation (GIR) is essential to success when hitting into many smaller putting surfaces. Evaluating Strokes Gained: Approach and Around the Green stats at TPC Sawgrass can assist you in identifying stronger players, along with some of the notable trends below.

Top Golfers In SG: Approach At TPC Sawgrass:

  • Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, Tom Hoge, Keegan Bradley, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, Chris Kirk, Tommy Fleetwood, Si Woo Kim, Will Zalatoris, Rory McIlroy, Corey Connors, Shane Lowry

Top Golfers In Combined Approach And Around The Green At TPC Sawgrass:

  • Justin Thomas, Si Woo Kim, Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Kirk, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Jason Day, Adam Scott

Incorporating all Pete Dye courses with Bermuda greens, the top players in total strokes gained and best model fits include:

  • Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama, Si Woo Kim, Justin Thomas, Jason Day and Viktor Hovland

Notable Trends For The Players Championship

  • Eight of the last 9 winners were of age in their twenties.
  • The last four winners since the event was moved back to March were ranked top 10 in the world.
  • Eight of the last 11 winners were ranked top 16.
  • Ten of the last 11 winners have had a top 20 finish in their previous two starts ahead of The Players.
  • Eight of the last 11 winners had won a major championship.
  • Scheffler won in his 3rd start last year, and he was the first winner in the last 11 years that had not had a top 25 finish in The Players. Eight of the last 11 had posted a top-15 finish in the event.

Check out more golf stats and coverage of The Players Championship and weekly PGA Tour events along with how golf courses are leading the way in technology and sustainability. Meanwhile, the top online sportsbooks lead the way in wagering options as betting on golf continues to be popular with fans firing for more fairways and greens.

You can bet on it.

Author: FairwayJay is a leading national sports betting analyst, writer, handicapper and sports betting insider providing insight and information you can bet on for nearly two decades from Las Vegas. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events for leading media and sports betting sites and companies. Follow him on X (Twitter): @FairwayJay