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Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
Sport | By Dustin Murphy

Another strong golf field tees off at Sawgrass

Another strong golf field tees off at Sawgrass

The tournament has been lost and even won on this hole in past years.

It's called golf's fifth major for a reason.

NBC Sports' popular cable-suspended "Supra Cam" returns to The Players Championship this year, flying for 150 yards over the body of water between the 16th- and 17th-hole greens.

It also might be the most hard to handicap. Nicklaus had visions of Augusta at Murifield Village outside of Columbus. And yes, the word "thrilling" has been used a time or two.

Rahm said he learned how to play Pete Dye courses at the Karsten Course at Arizona State University where he played college golf. "We have a week to do some work and see how it feels". While the tournament stands alone and is now a significant worldwide sporting event.

"There's not many question marks going on in my life right now", he explained. Former champion David Duval is a big proponent of the move, saying "the golf course plays in March the way it was designed".

"It seems like with everything that's went on the last few weeks with getting married and teaming up with TaylorMade and everything, it seems like everything's very settled", he said. "In May, it's just a flip wedge for these guys".

Jordan Spieth said he "lipped out for a 1" when he played it on Tuesday.

"But I feel like I'm starting to play this golf course a little bit better". And it was only back in 2015 that he took a lead into the final round of the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey, only to finish third after Jason Day outsprinted Bubba Watson for the biggest cheque.

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That will be followed by the Belmont on June 10 . "They'll be another chance", said Lanerie when posed with that possible option. Pletcher made two decisions at Churchill Downs recently that turned the winning colt around. "He was traveling and carrying me".

When asked about it after the second round, McIlroy said that he will be going for an MRI on Monday and may have to take some time off. "That's certainly been part of the consideration set".

He did however say that he should be fit and healthy for the weekend and, with the wind set to get up in the afternoon at Ponte Vedra Beach, his second round of 71 - one under par - which leaves him level par for the tournament, shouldn't be too far out of the picture. Rory McIlroy went to tap in from 2 feet and missed it, and then had to make one twice that long for his double bogey on the 10th hole.

"I really wouldn't do much different if I was in those playoffs (again)", Hearn said. I can't see him falling off.

"I should be sponsored by Advil at this point", he joked.

The Players Championship starts Thursday on the TPC Sawgrass, which offers a $10.5 million purse — even the runner-up gets over $1.1 million — a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, a three-year exemption to the Masters and British Open and plenty of frustration when something goes wrong. It may also force these golfers to change their approach to The Players Championship.

"I think that it's going to depend", Sergio Garcia agreed. "So it was a frustrating time in the round where I was trying to kind of get some momentum going".

Perhaps the new commissioner gave us some clues into what he's thinking and whether the tournament is just fine where it is. No player has ever defended his title at the Players. "I'm in a great position heading into the weekend".

Making his first start since claiming a maiden major title at Augusta National, Garcia had been four over par for his first six holes at Sawgrass after four-putting the fifth, the same hole he six-putted in the third round a year ago. He showed up to this week's Players Championship seemingly happy and relaxed. He is aware is record is not great at The Players, though he has never been playing this well coming into the tournament.

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