Looking at the previous winners of THE PLAYERS Championship one thing stands out: ball striking. To win this tournament a player must have a great game from tee to green.
Previous winners in the last 10 years include Hal Sutton, Adam Scott, Fred Funk, Sergio Garcia, Tim Clark and Henrik Stenson. All excellent ball strikers and not necessarily long hitters.
I left out Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods for a reason. Though each has won THE PLAYERS, they don't exactly qualify as the best ball strikers, especially this year. Both of their driving statistics are extremely poor this season.
So who stands the best chance of winning this year then? I'd say not Phil or Tiger. I'd look at a ball striker who is playing well currently.
The first player on the list would be Luke Donald. He is a pure ball striker and is playing amazing golf this year.
Lucas Glover is hot, fresh off of his win last week.
Y.E. Yang has had a very solid year and is hitting his irons and hybrids as well as anyone.
Other players striking it well right now include Matt Kuchar, Nick Watney and Martin Kaymer.
While watching this year's tournament at the TPC Sawgrass, keep ball striking in mind.
UPDATE: I suppose I was correct in predicting that Tiger Woods would not win THE PLAYERS this week. The reason however is different than mine. Tiger has withdrawn due to injury after playing the front nine and shooting 42.