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2023 THE PLAYERS Championship Early Expert Picks: Tom Kim & Jason Day Stand Out at TPC Sawgrass

2023 THE PLAYERS Championship Early Expert Picks: Tom Kim & Jason Day Stand Out at TPC Sawgrass article feature image

Pictured: Tom Kim. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Click arrow to expand THE PLAYER Championship odds via PointsBet
Player Name Odds
Rory McIlroy +900
Jon Rahm +1000
Scottie Scheffler +1000
Patrick Cantlay +1600
Max Homa +2000
Justin Thomas +2200
Collin Morikawa +2200
Xander Schauffele +2500
Jason Day +2800
Tony Finau +2800
Viktor Hovland +3000
Will Zalatoris +3000
Matt Fitzpatrick +3500
Tyrrell Hatton +3500
Sungjae Im +3500
Tom Kim +4000
Jordan Spieth +4000
Keegan Bradley +4000
Cameron Young +4500
Shane Lowry +5000
Si Woo Kim +5000
Keith Mitchell +6000
Rickie Fowler +6000
Corey Conners +6000
Hideki Matsuyama +6600
Tommy Fleetwood +7000
Sahith Theegala +7500
Chris Kirk +8000
Sam Burns +8000
Alex Noren +9000
Harris English +9000
Justin Rose +9000
Matt Kuchar +9000
Tom Hoge +9000
Adam Scott +9000
Taylor Montgomery +11000
Russell Henley +11000
Kurt Kitayama +11000
Seamus Power +11000
Brian Harman +11000
Billy Horschel +12500
Adam Hadwin +12500
Aaron Wise +15000
Davis Riley +15000
Francesco Molinari +15000
Min Woo Lee +17500
Gary Woodland +17500
J.T. Poston +17500
Webb Simpson +17500
Wyndham Clark +17500
K.H. Lee +17500
Denny McCarthy +20000
Nick Taylor +20000
Thomas Detry +20000
Lucas Herbert +20000
Andrew Putnam +20000
Joel Dahmen +20000
Justin Suh +20000
Brendon Todd +20000
Ryan Fox +20000
Sepp Straka +20000
Jhonattan Vegas +20000
Taylor Moore +25000
Adam Svensson +25000
Ben Griffin +25000
J.J. Spaun +25000
Taylor Pendrith +25000
Maverick McNealy +25000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +25000
Trey Mullinax +25000
S.H. Kim +30000
Emiliano Grillo +30000
Sam Ryder +30000
Danny Willett +30000
Hayden Buckley +30000
Stephan Jaeger +30000
Alex Smalley +30000
Scott Stallings +30000
Luke List +30000
Mackenzie Hughes +30000
Robby Shelton +30000
Brandon Wu +30000
Beau Hossler +30000
Aaron Rai +30000
Ben Martin +30000
Byeong Hun An +35000
Cam Davis +35000
Kevin Kisner +35000
Tyler Duncan +35000
Lee Hodges +35000
Will Gordon +35000
Joseph Bramlett +35000
Garrick Higgo +35000
Doug Ghim +35000
Patrick Rodgers +35000
Martin Laird +35000
Russell Knox +40000
Nick Hardy +40000
David Lipsky +40000
Davis Thompson +40000
Adam Schenk +40000
Ryan Palmer +40000
Adam Long +40000
Matt Wallace +50000
Eric Cole +50000
Patton Kizzire +50000
Matthew NeSmith +50000
Kramer Hickok +50000
Nate Lashley +50000
Dylan Frittelli +50000
Nico Echavarria +50000
Mark Hubbard +60000
Andrew Novak +60000
Aaron Baddeley +60000
Kevin Streelman +60000
Greyson Sigg +60000
Troy Merritt +60000
Stewart Cink +60000
David Lingmerth +60000
Justin Lower +60000
Michael Thompson +60000
Erik Barnes +60000
Peter Malnati +60000
Lucas Glover +60000
Scott Piercy +60000
Callum Tarren +60000
Chesson Hadley +60000
Dylan Wu +60000
Matthias Schwab +70000
Doc Redman +70000
James Hahn +70000
Harrison Endycott +70000
Kevin Tway +70000
Nick Watney +100000
Austin Smotherman +100000
Chad Ramey +100000
Tyson Alexander +100000
Max McGreevy +100000
Kelly Kraft +100000
Jerry Kelly +100000
Ryan Brehm +100000
Chez Reavie +100000
Robert Streb +100000

Kurt Kitayama held off an impressive group of contenders on Sunday at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Two of the top three players in the world were right there with him to the very end, but he birdied two of his final three holes to close out his first career TOUR win.

It feels like we’ve already had a stretch of mini-majors to start the year, but the TOUR now turns to the unofficial fifth major — The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. This is always one of the great tournaments of the year as it is an open door to many different styles of play and different contenders. The 2023 tournament will be unique for a number of reasons, but most notably on the front end is the void left by defending champion Cameron Smith and seemingly all of the highlights from that winning run.

All of the current stars of the TOUR will be on the course and competing for the biggest purse of the season. All of that sets up to be another memorable week around Pete Dye’s signature course and the most famous hole in golf — the par-3 17th. I’ll be looking for players showing form, but not necessarily course history as even former champions have their share of missed cuts and poor finishes on this course. The ability to hit all shots and play well in all aspects tee-to-green, as well as get hot with the putter, will be key to starting to build our card this week for The Players.

First Look

Tom Kim +5000 (Bet365)

I’ve been following this number on Tom Kim for The Players since the start of the year. I almost took it a couple of times, but I’m glad I waited as his play the past few weeks has caused it to drift. I don’t want to discount the fact that he hasn’t had the best of finishes lately, but I like what I saw from him at the Arnold Palmer Iinvitational this past week. His Sunday included a round where he shot 2-under and gained 2.64 shots on the field with his ball striking. He’ll be able to build off of that momentum into this week, where I think his game is a perfect fit for TPC Sawgrass.

Kim is a really accurate player off the tee and excels on approach, especially with his wedges. This is a course that won’t punish him for a being a little shorter off the tee than many of the other top players in the world and it will allow him to play to his strengths. While there may be some concern about him making his debut in this event, I think he will benefit greatly from having Rickie Fowler’s former caddie, Joe Skovron, to guide him through his first tournament rounds at The Players. Skovron was there with Fowler when he won in 2015 and his experience around this course will be vital for Kim to just play his game. That all adds up to me putting Kim on my card at this mid-range number.

Jason Day +5000 (Bet365)

There are a couple of big comeback stories that have risen to the forefront early this year and Jason Day is certainly one of them. I have been hesitant to buy in on it because we have seen him flash at times in the past, but now, after his fourth consecutive top 10, I’ll be looking to buy on the Australian going into this weekend. This is a tournament that has always suited his game and that certainly proved to be the case when he won this event in 2016. There’s no reason he can’t be a contender once again and this is a solid number, though I admittedly wouldn’t go much lower than this for a guy looking for his first win since 2018.

Si Woo Kim +6600 (PointsBet)

There are seemingly two ways that things go in a given week for Si Woo Kim — he either contends for the win, or posts a big number and is a withdraw risk. The good news is the outright market is right where I want that type of volatility as the weeks where he is near the top will immediately dwarf those at the bottom if he comes through with a win. I admittedly was hoping for a bit of a stronger number and will wait to see if any books reset him to longer odds on Monday, but this is right on the edge of a good number for him this week.

Kim finished a middling T39 last week at Bay Hill where he ended any hopes of a top finish when he posted a quadruple-bogey nine on Saturday. The part that has my interest though is what the South Korean did after that as he had just one more blemish amongst seven birdies in his final 30 holes of the weekend.

He really showed some solid ball-striking form outside of those two holes, which lost him more than 5.5 shots on approach, and really skew the numbers going into the new week. Kim has won this event before in some really tough weather and has the game to challenge for another title if he can carry some of his momentum from the weekend into Sawgrass.

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