The Players: What you should know about this year’s tournament

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Back to normal.

That’s the biggest takeaway for its week’s edition of The Players Championship.

After crowds were limited to a quarter of the usual number last year amid the pandemic, tournament organizers are expecting full attendance this week. Here are a few things fans need to know before heading out to the course.

Schedule

Practice rounds are Tuesday and Wednesday. The tournament begins on Thursday with the first groups teeing off just after sunrise, typically 6:45 a.m. The first groups will tee off at about the same time on Friday. After the cut is made following the second round, the field will be pared down from 144 to the top 70 and ties. Saturday’s third round will begin around 8 a.m. depending on the number of total golfers remaining in the field at that point.

Tuesday is highlighted by the Military Appreciation Ceremony and a performance by Kelsea Ballerini.

Wednesday will see the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies (see below).

Tickets

All tickets are digital and mobile. There are no physical tickets this year.

Tickets can be purchased online at ThePlayers.com. Tickets for military veterans for practice rounds and tournament rounds are all sold out. Active duty military can still request complimentary tickets.

Parking

All parking must be purchased online as well. Friday and Saturday’s parking passes are sold out. There are no more carpool vouchers as in past years. There is a dropoff spot for rideshare options like Uber and Lyft. It’s located just outside of the Couples Gate near the 15th hole. Additionally, there are shuttles running Thursday through Sunday. Passes cost $20 with pickup sites at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the Southbank Hotel and Hogan Street by the Jacksonville River City Downtown Hotel (formerly the Omni).

Concessions and merchandise

All purchases on site will be contactless. That means no cash transactions on the course.

Whether purchasing concessions or merchandise, it will all be handled with credit or debit card or with other electronic forms of payment, like Apple pay. Among the local restaurants with locations in the food court are Firehouse Subs, Homespun Kitchen, The Local, Tropical Smoothie, and Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q. A Taste of JAX near the 11th green/12th tee, you can find Cousins Maine Lobster, Mojo BBQ, ABBQ, Silkies Chicken & Champagne Bar, and the Taste of Jax Bar featuring Tito’s at the Turn. The popular Trucks on 10 dining location features local food trucks: Twisted Okie BBQ, Mama’s, 904 Burger, Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen, Tikiz, and What’s the Catch. Tacos on 12 is back again this year with offerings from TacoLu.

At Sawgrass Square near the 10th tee, Mini Bar will be serving min9donuts, 4 River Smokehouse, Daily’s Concessions and FanShop express will also have dining options. Bier Garden presented by Hoptinger is behind the 16th green. Palm Valley Village features Bugga Burgers. Adult beverages can be found at several locations. Meiomi Wines (8th green), the Oasis featuring Tito’s Stillhouse Lounge with signature cocktails and The Grove featuring Maestro Dobel Tequilla.

To purchase merchandise, fans can check out the 33,000 square foot PGA Tour Fan Shop near the main entrance and the Wal-up PGA TOUR Fan Shop in Sawgrass Square near the 10th tee.

For more course information, you can check out The Players website.

The Field

47 of the top 50 golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings have committed to playing in The Players. Among the top 50, only Bryson DeChambeau (12th), Harris English (18th) and Phil Mickelson (42nd), are not playing in the tournament.

Eight former winners of The Players are in the event: Jason Day, Sergio Garcia, Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, and defending champion Justin Thomas.

The top 30 players in the current FedExCup standings are all in the field for the first time this season. The field has combined for 423 PGA Tour titles; 109 of the 144 players in the field have won at least one PGA Tour event.

World Golf Hall of Fame ceremonies

While not specifically part of The Players, the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are scheduled for Wednesday. Tiger Woods, former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, Susie Maxwell Berning, an 11-time winner on the LPGA Tour and three-time-US Women’s Open champion, and the late Marion Hollins, a pioneer of women’s golf, will be honored in a ceremony at the PGA Tour Headquarters a day before the first round of the tournament.


About the Author:

Cole joined News4Jax full-time in January 2017, but he has been a part of the team since he began filling in as a sports anchor in 2005.