Despite the absence of Tiger Woods, The Players Championship field is still packed, with 47 of the top-50 players in the world entered.
The final field for next week’s Players Championship doesn’t include Tiger Woods.
It does have 47 of the top-50 players on the current World Golf Rankings (absent only Woods, Lee Westwood of England and Shugo Imahira of Japan), the players who combined to win 43 of the last 44 PGA Tour events, all but one member of the combined 2019 U.S. and International Presidents Cup teams, all but two members of the combined 2018 U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams and the players who combined to win 29 of the last 32 major championships.
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Woods, at No. 11, is the only player among the top 25 in the world who won’t be at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass when The Players begins on Thursday. Westwood is 28th in the world and Imahira is 38th.
There will be 23 players among the top-100 in the world who aren’t in the field but 20 of those weren’t eligible anyway, illustrating how difficult it has become to get into the PGA Tour’s Gold Standard event.
The field is led by defending champion and world No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy, No. 2 Jon Rahm, No. 3 Brooks Koepka, No. 4 Justin Thomas and No. 5 Dustin Johnson.
The rest of the top-10 who will be at the Stadium Course are Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed and Tommy Fleetwood. Scott (2004) and Simpson (2018) are past Players champions.
Other past champions in the field are Si Woo Kim, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson.
There is one spot reserved at The Players for the winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando this week, if he is not otherwise qualified. There are 14 pros who made the cut who need to win to reach The Players, but the highest any of them is on the leaderboard is Scott Harrington in a tie for 13th at 3-under, four shots behind leaders Tyrrell Hatton and Sung Kang. Stewart Cink is tied for 17th at 2-under and Zac Blair is tied for 32nd at even par.
Others who made the cut at Bay Hill are two-time Players champion Davis Love III (1-over, eight shots off the lead) and Steve Stricker (2-over).
Players entrants who missed the cut at the Palmer Invitational or did not play that event in Orlando will start trickling into the area over the weekend. There are practice rounds Monday through Wednesday (the course is closed to the public on Monday) and the first round begins on Thursday with the players going off the first and 10th tees in threesomes.
Tuesday is Military Appreciation Day, with ceremonies beginning at the 17th hole of the Stadium Course at 5 p.m., followed by a concert by the Chainsmokers.
Tickets are available at theplayers/com/tickets. Parking passes must be purchased separately and parking for Friday and Saturday’s rounds are close to being sold out.