THE PLAYERS 2015 – May 5-10

Missing Event Data
 Only a few chances remain for players to earn a spot in the field
History: An inside look at 1993 champion Nick Price
Course: 16-17-18 vital to champions’ success
The best players in the world are descending on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for THE PLAYERS Championship, May 5-10, and tournament officials want to remind fans to print parking passes in advance, whether they are the “Four for Free” vouchers or the general parking pass. Many of the exemption categories for THE PLAYERS are full, but players still have a chance to get into the best field in golf over the next two weeks with good play. With a roster of historic champions, THE PLAYERS is proud of its historical significance in golf, and the spotlight this week is on 1993 champion Nick Price. Of the historic champions over the last 30 years, only four were able to secure victory while playing the iconic 16th, 17th and 18th holes over par for the week.

FAN EXPERIENCE: PARKING PLAN FOR 2015

With strong attendance expected for THE PLAYERS this year, parking is of the utmost importance to fans, and tournament officials want to be sure that fans are aware that they will need a parking pass in advance for all competition days.

For those with fewer than four people per car, on Tuesday and Wednesday, they can still park for free in the general parking lot and no parking pass is required. Thursday-Sunday, however, fans are required to purchase parking in advance ($30 Thursday and Sunday per day for general parking; and $35 Friday and Saturday per day in general parking).

In order to save time and money, parking passes can be purchased at https://theplayersparking.clickandpark.com.

It is important to note that those who arrive without a parking pass will be routed back to Will Call and will pay a premium of $50 per pass. Volunteers will not sell parking passes in the lot as they have in past years, so fans must have a parking pass in advance to avoid being directed to Will Call.

As in 2014, fans with four or more guests in a vehicle can park for free Thursday throughSunday with the “Four for Free” parking voucher. Fans can go online to https://theplayersparking.clickandpark.com (click on the “Tickets” tab) to download the voucher, which allows free parking in the general lot off of CR210. A new voucher must be downloaded and printed for each day, but there is no limit to the number of days guests can park for free.

 FIELD: PLAYERS STILL LOOKING TO PLAY THEIR WAY INTO THE BEST FIELD IN GOLF

While many of the world’s top players have already qualified for THE PLAYERS, there is still a chance for players to play their way into the field over the next two weeks at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play, as well as this week on the European Tour. The winner of each event on the PGA TOUR will become eligible for THE PLAYERS if they have not already qualified for the tournament through another exemption category. Also, following this week, the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking will earn a spot at THE PLAYERS if they are not already eligible, meaning that players near the top 50 will be able to play their way in this week with a good performance at either the Zurich Classic of New Orleans or the Volvo China Open on the European Tour.

Mark Warren, who is just outside of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at No. 53, has a great chance to improve his ranking and get into THE PLAYERS this week at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Players eligible for the Cadillac Match Play with a chance to earn their way into the field with a win in San Francisco include Andy Sullivan, Alexander Levy and George Coetzee.

There are a few players outside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking who are playing on the European Tour this week and could possibly play their way into THE PLAYERS, including Tommy Fleetwood (No. 55), Levy (No. 60), Mikko Ilonen (No. 67) and Ross Fisher (No. 72).

HISTORY: AN INSIDE LOOK AT 1993 CHAMPION NICK PRICE

Nick Price was on the rise heading into THE PLAYERS 1993. After winning twice in 1991 and adding the 1992 PGA Championship, Price was eighth in the Official World Golf Ranking and was beginning to identify himself as one of the best players in his era.

He proved his success was no fluke on the purest test in golf at THE PLAYERS the following year. Firing an 8-under 64 in the first round, Price was off to the races, sharing the lead with Kirk Triplett. But he wouldn’t have to share the lead for long, as a second-round 68, put him two shots ahead of Bernhard Langer.

Heading into the final round, Price held a one-shot lead over Greg Norman, Mark O’Meara and Langer (all three will be members of the World Golf Hall of Fame when O’Meara is inducted at St. Andrews this July). It looked as though Price might be in trouble when he found his drive in an awkward lie in the right fairway bunker on the par-4 fourth hole. With water guarding the front of a shallow green, Price would hit what he would later call “the greatest shot of my life,” knocking the ball to within tap-in distance for birdie.

He would go on to finish at 18-under and secure a five-shot victory, both tournament records at the time. Later that year, Price used THE PLAYERS as a platform to win three more times and secure PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors, which he would repeat in 1994.

Price is now a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

COURSE: 16-17-18 VITAL TO SUCCESS FOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONS

The 16th, 17th and 18th holes have provided countless moments of drama since THE PLAYERS moved to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in 1982, from Hal Sutton’s “Be the right club today,” in 2000 to Tiger Woods’ “Better than most,” putt in 2001. The three-hole gauntlet, featuring the risk-reward par-5 16th, the iconic island-green par-3 17th and the devilishly difficult dogleg-left par-4 finishing hole is often the place where THE PLAYERS is won or lost.

Over the last 30 years, only fur players played the 16th, 17th and 18th holes over par for the week and escaped with a victory, including Mark McCumber (1988), Steve Elkington (1997), Hal Sutton (2000) and Sergio Garcia (2008). Of those four, Sutton recorded the highest score in relation to par over the four days on the closing holes, playing them in 3-over par.

For former PLAYERS Champions, the closing stretch of holes usually helped them seal victory, with 26 of the last 30 years featuring a winner playing the holes in even par or better for the week. But one player separated himself even more from the pack, with Fred Couples playing the three holes in 7 under for the week, marking the best a player has navigated the 16th, 17th and 18th holes for the week in the last 30 years.

Last year, Martin Kaymer played the last three holes at even par for the week, but accentuated his victory with a 28-foot par putt on the 17th hole to preserve a one-shot advantage. He would go on to par the 18th and capture his first PLAYERS title.

About THE PLAYERS Championship

THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. PwC is the exclusive Proud Partner of THE PLAYERS.  Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled nearly $67.5 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $7.5 million donation in 2014. In April 2011, THE PLAYERS announced a new charitable focus, committing to generate $50 million for youth-related charities over the next 10 years. For more on THE PLAYERS and the surrounding area, visitPGATOUR.COM/THEPLAYERS or floridashistoriccoast.com.

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