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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Twofer Tuesday: THE PLAYERS

Twofer Tuesday says a reluctant goodbye to Arnie's Place and heads up the road to Pete Dye's place and THE PLAYERS.

Defending champion Rory McIlroy

Since this event was cancelled last year after only one round, 2019 champion Rory McIlroy is the defender this week. Granted, 'defending' is a rhetorical term at TPC Sawgrass since -- to my knowledge -- no winner there has ever defended their title. For that reason alone I won't pick Rory this week.

As a result, I suspect his chances of victory have improved considerably. ;-)

Instead, I have chosen to jinx two other players by picking them this week. I still hold out hope that they will break my curse and provide me with two Top10s, maybe even a win.

  • My first pick is Lee Westwood. It's not just about his runner-up finish at Bay Hill last week or his excellent play so far this year, although both are certainly encouraging. The simple fact is that Lee plays pretty well at Sawgrass -- he has five Top5s in this event. And given how well he's been playing -- and, by his own account, feeling -- this year, I'm going with the old guy.
  • My other pick is Collin Morikawa... and I admit he's an untested pick. He's only been in THE PLAYERS once, in 2020, and we all know how that ended up. Still, he's a far more seasoned player in what is functionally his debut this year, having picked up three wins since the cancellation -- wins which include a major and a WGC. Why shouldn't I pick him?

GC's live coverage begins Thursday at noon ET, and PGA TOUR LIVE plans to televise every single shot live starting at 6:30am ET. While I don't know how many fans will be there, I know the announced figure is 20% of capacity (however many that is) and the available tickets sold out within 45 minutes. Should be a lively tournament!

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