All the silly talk about the Players being the fifth major -- there is no such thing -- obscures its annual importance as a key barometer heading into the summer, when three real major championships will be played in the span of ten weeks.
If we’re lucky, the Players will bring a little clarity to what has been an exceedingly topsy-turvy season so far. All of the game’s headliners arrive at TPC Sawgrass facing questions of varying magnitude.
Boy king Rory McIlroy reclaimed the top spot in the World Ranking with a playoff loss at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship, the latest twist in a good news/bad news season. McIlroy has raised the standard of his play to such a supreme level that almost winning no longer feels good enough. The Fargo was his second runner-up finish of the year on the PGA Tour to go along with a third place, against a lone win at the Honda Classic.