PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tiger Woods (2001, 2013) and Adam Scott (2004) are the only players in the 2019 The Players field who have won the tournament in March.
Historically the course has been more difficult in March as compared to May. Since 1995, The Players has produced under-par rounds 31 percent of the time in March and 41 percent in May.
“It's just so much slower, it's not as warm,” said Woods when asked did he feel he has an advantage over golfers who’ve never played at TPC in March. “The ball doesn't fly as far and the golf course just plays slower. The only year I really remember it being just brutally hard and fast was when David won, '99 I think it was.
"I believe I shot 75-75 on the weekend and moved up. So that's something that can happen here. It's going to get cool, it's windy. We don't have to deal with, I guess, the ball not going as far in May. It's just the golf course plays so much shorter in May than it does in March. That's probably the biggest difference. We're going to have to hit more clubs off the tees, have a little bit longer clubs into the greens, but the difference is the greens are much slower and much more receptive.”
On Thursday, Woods will be making his 19th start in this event. A win on Sunday would be his third at TPC Sawgrass, tying him with Jack Nicklaus for the most victories in the history of The Players.
According to Woods, there’s a simple formula to winning at TPC.
“Hit it good. It's not real complicated. The golf course is one that Pete has set up to intimidate you visually. You have to overcome that part of it," Woods said.
"And no, you can't really play poorly and win this event. I think we all have to accept that you're going to hit good shots, too, as well, and going to get some weird hops, get some really, really funky lies, whether it's off the fairway or around the greens. Stuff where you're standing on your head and hitting shots, which is not normal, but on a Pete Dye course, it is.”
Woods also provided the following critique of the new Goldman trophy that accompanied him at the podium while addressing the media on Tuesday.
“Yeah, I have two crystal ones at home and this would be nice to add to it,” he said.