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Sunday Storylines At The Players Championship

THE PLAYERS Championship - Round Three

Hello friends. First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to the millions and millions of mom readers out there. This one’s for you.

It’s Sunday of The Players Championship. According to me, that means it’s one of seven appointment television dates for anyone remotely interested in golf: The Players, the four majors, the Tour Championship, and the Sunday of the Ryder/Presidents Cups.

Whether you love it or hate it, Sawgrass has become one of the most iconic courses on the planet. Watching these guys create the history that we’ll reference forever is ALWAYS fascinating to watch.

No, we don’t have the most star-studded leaderboard. We don’t have what we had Sunday at the Masters. But yes, there are still PLENTY of compelling storylines. Here is our top-10.

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Important to note: 31 of the last 34 Players champs have come from inside the top-5 heading into Sunday. Very rarely has someone come from more than three back. Having considered all this, I think all the 5-unders and lower are still in it.

Let’s talk about some of the guys.

JB Holmes

JB has only hit 17 fairways thus far. That’s stunning. For a guy known as a bomber, he’s making it interesting by keeping himself in this tourney with his short game.

He’s no stranger to the big stage. He’s got four wins on TOUR, was a massive part of the US’ 2008 Ryder Cup win in his home state of Kentucky, and just last year finished inside the top-4 at both the Masters and the British Open.

He’s felt the pressure many times, and handled it pretty well.

Kyle Stanley

Kyle Stanley was known at Clemson as an absolute ball-beater. A “golf is life” kinda guy. But he got married about a year-and-a-half ago and that’s reportedly given him a real life. A balanced life. Good for him.

He’s got a TOUR win but is known more for blowing a three-stroke lead by tripling the 72nd hole at the 2012 Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines. His win did come just one week later, so he’s proven he can bounce back and get it done.

Louis Oosthuizen

You know how many guys have won a British Open at St. Andrews AND a Players Championship? Two: Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Louis looks today to become just the third member of that club.

Known for having one of the sweetest swings in the game, Louis finds himself in contention a lot. Although he’s only got one PGA TOUR sanctioned win (that 2010 British Open), Louis lost both the 2012 Masters and the 2015 British Open (St. Andrews) in playoffs. He’s walked the walk several times before so he’s no stranger to the big stage.

Si Woo Kim

This dude was born in 1995 but already has a win (and a playoff loss). Despite having a pretty inconsistent year, Si Woo finds himself just two shots off the lead. He competes, and he can do this.

Hard not to like that.

Emiliano Grillo

2016 TOUR rookie of the year. Grillo’s sneaky good.

Ian Poulter

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Look, it would be easy for me to come here and shit on Ian Poulter. It would be easy for me to talk about how he’s an asshole to the common man, how he bitches at airlines because he and his wife don’t have a nanny to help with the kids, how he harasses employees who don’t deliver his Ferraris with the perfect amount of class.

But I’m not going to do that. The Poulter story is a good one this week — a massive dickhead who didn’t play well enough to keep his TOUR card, but was awarded it anyways via some BS technicality, in contention at The Players. Every good story has an antagonist for a reason; we need someone to root against.

Poulter’s never won a PGA TOUR stroke play event on US soil and when he’s been close, he’s done this.

But good luck today Poults.

Patrick Cantlay

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Patrick Cantlay may be the number one story on the leaderboard. Just a little over a year ago, his best friend and caddie, Chris Roth, was killed in a hit-and-run while they were out in Newport Beach. He’s clearly had a ton to overcome since, and now finds himself on the front page of the leaderboard at The Players. If he’s in the mix down the stretch, you suck if you’re not pulling for this dude.

Sergio Garcia

After an opening nine 40 for Sergio, which he openly admitted was due in part to being nervous as the Masters champ, the Spaniard’s been on a tear. He shot a third round 67 to charge up the leaderboard. His turnaround was sparked by this 17th hole ace on Thursday.

Would be an incredible tale to have Sergio win The Players in his first start since winning the Masters. He’s played better here over the past decade than anyone else and it’s not even close. Guy loves this track.

Betting Odds

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Go Time

It’s Sunday at The Players and there’s a lot to be excited about. Patrick Cantlay’s emotional chase. Sergio Garcia following a Masters win with a Players win. Ian Poulter inevitably (hopefully) collapsing in embarrassing fashion.

And plenty of Stoolies to boot.

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Enjoy it, friends.