Spieth returning to Travelers Championship to defend title

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Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose all have a mathematical chance this week to replace Johnson atop the world ranking. "I like that he shapes a lot of shots, he loves the draw shots but his best shot is probably the fade", said Cowen.

"I want to think that I'm trending in the right direction".

But while the ace was a huge boost for Wilcox's notoriety, it didn't do much to for his PGA Tour status.

"I nearly won it, and so I just kind of assumed that it would come easy to me", the three-time major champion said Tuesday ahead of Thursday's start of the 45th Players Championship.

The tour has set up a great first day by putting Woods with his old rival Phil Mickelson, a situation that has caused a lot of comment this week. "And weeks like last week, that's why you'll get 19 holes and make one par". The question remains can he still win on Tour.

"It was disappointing I didn't get the result I wanted but I took a lot of positives from the fact that I didn't have my best stuff at Augusta and I was still able to play my way into the final group and contend".

The check Spieth received for winning last year's event was for $1.2 million, but it didn't take into account items removed from the TPC River Highlands course by Spieth's representative.

"We've always had a mutual respect over the years, and I've always appreciated what he's done for the game of golf", added Mickelson. The list of past winners at the PGA Tour's premier event illustrates. "I thought it was such a fun back nine to play".

We dove into the course a bit more, analyzing past trends at THE PLAYERS, and arrived at these key stats for the week...

His big moment at Sawgrass came in 2009 when he shot 68-69-73-66 to lift the trophy and he's posted four top 20s since then so owns one of the more consistent tournament records of the big stars. And just before the Masters, he was coming off a near-win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, taking lone-2nd to Rory McIlroy who putted his way to a spectacular win.

"Trust me, I'm fully aware of how special this is for me", he said, recalling that 12 months ago he could barely walk without severe pain, let alone swing a golf club.

"If you don't feel too comfortable over the driver, you have some people to stop that golf ball for you before it goes out of bounds", he said.

1pt win Zach Johnson 60/1: its been a long time since he won the British Open but he loves Sawgrass, its all about iron play and he's the best. A win in Florida against every golfer inside the world's top 50 would certainly improve Lowry's current world ranking of 82nd place. I look at 2000 as being kind of the benchmark, at the US Open as being the greatest golf I've ever witnessed and I believe ever has been played.

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