The Players announces what is new for 2018 tournament

New meeting places, military appreciation concert and more announced Monday

By Matt Kingston - Sports photographer/producer

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Bigger, better and more.  That seems to be the theme of what both fans and players can expect in May for the 2018 Players Championship.

Executive Director Jared Rice announced many meeting places and food courts will be returning and there will be a new addition for this years tournament.  The Bier Garten sponsored by local restaurant Hoptinger will be located behind the 16th hole.  Rice says that the inclusion of local restaurants is something that The Players continues to embrace.

"One of the things that my predecessor and my current team have really focused on is 'what makes this community unique and different?'"said Rice.  "We want to showcase that.  When fans are flying in from Charlotte or Atlanta, we want to give them a taste, sometimes literally, that they can't always get in their home markets.  We have great restaurants and some really great businesses and services in our community and to bring them out to the golf course is great for us and is a natural evolution of the tournament."

In addition to the Bier Garten, the fan shop will be expanded to over 21,000 square feet, and the bring four and park for free program will return this year.  

For the annual military appreciation concert, Luke Combs will perform on Tuesday, May 9th on the 17th hole.  This year the military appreciation program will start at 5:30 with the concert slated to begin at 6:00.  The concert and ceremony are free for anyone with a Tuesday ticket.

Defending Players champion Si Woo Kim was at TPC Sawgrass for the first time since winning the tournament last May.  Kim answered questions through an interpreter about defending his title and how excited that Tiger Woods is back to his old form and the possibility of playing with him.  Kim was also a participant in the annual charity shootout as a "partner" for each of the celebrity golfers, offering a shot of his own into the famous 17th green for each to use if it was better than theirs.  Former PGA Tour winner Jeff Klauk needed no such help, putting his shot one foot from the hole, winning $10,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation.

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