Experts' Picks: TPC Sawgrass

May, 11, 2011
05/11/11
7:11
AM ET

Each week during the PGA Tour season, our panel of experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories below: Birdie Buster, Horse for the Course, Super Sleeper and Winner.

This week's tournament: The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Birdie Buster: Pat Perez
He had a rough Sunday at Quail Holllow, but Perez also had 26 birdies last week as he finished tied for sixth at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Horse for the Course: Jim Furyk
The Ponte Vedra Beach resident plays the course as much as anybody, although he has never won the Players. He's had three top-10s in the last seven years.

Super Sleeper: Tiger Woods
It's been 10 years since Woods won the Players Championship, and he has just one top-10 since. His injury woes don't help, as he's had very little preparation going into the Masters.

Winner: Matt Kuchar
TPC Sawgrass seems to favor no specific game, which fits Kuchar just fine. He is not long or short, not flashy or dull. He is consistent and putts well, with five top-10s in 10 tournaments this year. The only thing missing is a victory, and a win at the Players would be the biggest of his career.


ESPN.com senior golf editor Kevin Maguire

Birdie Buster: Sergio Garcia
Yes, his biggest career win came at PGA Tour headquarters, albeit without Tiger Woods in the field in 2008. But the Spaniard also owns two other top-5 finishes in his career there.

Horse for the Course: Davis Love III
The current U.S. Ryder Cup captain is coming off a strong T-16 finish last week at Quail Hollow, and he's won here at TPC Sawgrass. Throw in 33 career rounds under par, and the 47-year-old Tar Heel knows his way around the track.

Super Sleeper: Matteo Manassero
The precocious Italian phenom is competing in his first Players Championship, but don't expect the 18-year-old to be intimidated by the venue or the competition. He does own two European PGA Tour wins already.

Winner: Ben Crane
Quick, which two players finished inside the top-10 at TPC Sawgrass the last two years? Defending champion Tim Clark is one and he is battling injuries. So I'll go with the other ... Ben Crane.

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