US PGA Tour golf preview and tips: Justin Thomas can shine again at Sawgrass

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This week The Players Championship, commonly referred to as 'the unofficial fifth Major', gets under way at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

A par 72 and 7,256 yards in length, the course has water hazards on all but one of the holes, and is one of the toughest tests in golf, requiring a full skill set to navigate it. It has a very testing final three holes, including the iconic 17th with its notorious island green, where many balls find a watery grave.

The fairways and rough are Bermuda grass overseeded with Rye, and rumour has it that they are growing the rough this week! The greens are Bermuda overseeded with Poa, and like most on the USPGA tour, they are likely to be smooth, true and fast.

Leapfrogging the world's top three, I can see Justin Thomas being well in contention on Sunday, just as he was last week before a poor final round saw him fall away. JT won this here just two years ago and this course suits him well, so at 16/1 he must be a consideration for each way selection.

Back to the top of the betting, where Jon Rahm is the 17/2 joint- favourite currently, and he will hope to bounce back after failing to capitalise on his first-round 65 at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Paired with Rahm on 17/2 is Rory McIlroy, who was a winner here in 2019 and has several placed finishes as well. Rory looked to be the winner last week at Bay Hill but faltered when he hit the front and missed the winning score by one stroke.

Scottie Scheffler completes the world's top three at 10/1, and after missing a makeable putt to force a play off last week, the current Masters champion is clearly getting towards the top of his game.

Patrick Cantlay is justifiably close behind at around 14/1, and although making a good effort last week from off the pace on a course he is unfamiliar with, I don't like Cantlay on Florida courses and so will pass him by.

Away from the favourites I am drawn to the following golfers:

Keegan Bradley at 33/1 has been in form for a while now and has contended regularly. Bradley also has good course form and is now up to twentieth in the official world golf rankings.

Tommy Fleetwood has two place finishes here in recent years, and is playing well enough at present to suggest that 66/1 represents potential each way value.

Francesco Molinari has found steadily improving form in recent months, and having been placed here in past years, the 100/1 Italian is sure to relish this a test of golf skills over big hitting.

Last but not least, another golfer with course form is Brian Harman, who is not a big hitter, but then he does not need to be on this course. Previous place finishes here indicate that the 100/1 available could pay dividends for anyone in search of real outsider each-way value.

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