Thursday 14th March 2019

Event of the Day: Players Championship Day 1

Our event of the day takes us to the Players Championship in Florida for one of golf’s biggest events of the year. The annual event takes place at TPC Sawgrass and boasts the strongest field in the golfing calendar with all of the world’s top 50 set to battle it out for the coveted title. They will be competing for the largest ever winner’s cheque in the sport’s history, with the victor taking home $2.25m, with the rest of the field sharing out the remainder of the $12.5m prize pool. Last year’s winner Webb Simpson will be looking to become the first man to retain the prestigious title. The 33-year-old posted one of the greatest scores in the event’s history last year, finishing with an astonishing 270 – only Jack Nicklaus in 1976 and Greg Norman in 1994 have posted better scores at the Players Championship. However, Simpson is far from the favourite heading into this weekend’s proceedings, with Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson the pundits’ choices to lift the trophy come Sunday. 

Having won the Mexico Championship last month, it would take a brave man to bet against Johnson recording his 21st victory on the tour this weekend. The World number one has already amassed winnings of over $2m this year and will certainly fancy his chances of adding to that purse, particularly with the longer course at TPC Sawgrass likely to suit the American’s heavy-hitting style. McIlroy has also had an impressive start to 2019 and has already notched five top ten finishes on the tour since the turn of the year. He finished second to Johnson in last month’s Mexico Championship and will be looking to go one better this week to lift his first Players Championship. This year’s edition sees the tournament return to the month of March, having been played in May ever since the switch was made in 2007. Of course, a different time of year brings with it different challenges, as the players are set to discover, but with the world’s greatest golfing talents on display, there is no doubt they will put on a show for the millions watching around the world. It is all set-up for a thrilling day of golf.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA where the Indiana Pacers host the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Though both sides sit fourth in their respective conferences, they have enjoyed equally mixed fortunes in recent weeks, winning three and losing three of their last six outings. However, as the season starts to wind down, both franchises will be desperate to cultivate some form as they head into the postseason. Other honourable mentions go to the Pakistan Super League, where Islamabad United will do battle with the Karachi Kings in the first eliminator game at the National Stadium in Karachi. United will be the favourites going into this one having won three of the last four meetings between the sides, but, as we so often see, anything can happen in the T20 format so be sure not to miss it! Elsewhere, the round of 16 draws to a close in the Europa League tonight as the second legs take place across the continent. Arsenal have it all to do as they look to overturn a 2-0 deficit to French outfit Rennes at the Emirates Stadium whilst Champions League dropouts Inter Milan will hope to utilise their home advantage to get the better of Eintracht Frankfurt and progress to the last eight. Night six of the Unibet Premier League will take place at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff tonight where league leader James Wade will take on ‘The Gentle’ Mensur Suljovic. Finally, there is an all-Atlantic Division clash in the NHL as division leaders the Tampa Bay Lightning travel to face the Red Wings in Detroit.

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Players Championship

 

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