Charting golfers with area ties entering Monday’s final round at The Players
Normally, it's the final round of The Players Championship, but weather postponements made Sunday cut day at TPC Sawgrass. The tournament had nearly a dozen golfers in the field with local ties to the area. How did those local golfers fare?
Thunderstorm pauses play for 4 hours in first round of The Players Championship
The start of The Players Championship has been delayed an hour Thursday morning because of thunderstorms and heavy rain overnight. That might just be the beginning of additional breaks in the action on the way because of the weather.
The Players’ prestige continues to grow after 40 years at TPC Sawgrass
This year marks the 40th anniversary of The Players Championship moving into it’s permanent home at TPC Sawgrass. In 1982, Jerry Pate fired a final round 67 to beat Brad Bryant and Scott Simpson by two strokes, taking home $90,000 and a set of wet clothes after he dove into the water at 18 in celebration of his win.
PGA Tour commissioner: All options on the table for Hall of Fame in St. Augustine
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan ran the gamut of topics in his Players Championship press conference on Tuesday, addressing things like a rival golf league, embattled golfer Phil Mickelson and the future of the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine.
One month out: Players Championship ready for return to normalcy
After a start and stop and then limited crowds, The Players Championship is back to doing what it does best. The event at TPC Sawgrass is 30 days away and will feel normal for the first time since Rory McIlroy edged Jim Furyk by a stroke in 2019. That feels like an eternity ago.
Playing in hometown was ‘amazing’ for Nease grad Tyler McCumber
Nease High grad Tyler McCumber finished T-22 at The Players Championship on Sunday. Poston, St. Simons Island, Ga. T-35 Lanto Griffin, Ponte Vedra BeachGriffin couldn’t follow his 4-under third-round score on Sunday, grinding out a 1-over 73 day. T-41 Zach Johnson, St. Simons Island, Ga. T-58 Billy Horschel, Ponte Vedra BeachThe former University of Florida golfer was 2-over 74 on Sunday and finished 1-over 289 for the tournament.
Ponte Vedra Beach resident Cameron Smith leads local golfers at Players on Saturday
Cameron Smith, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, had a 7-under 65 during the third round of The Players. We take a look at the golfers with south Georgia and north Florida ties entering the final round of The Players. Cameron Smith of Ponte Vedra Beach had the best Saturday among the local golfers. Billy Horschel, Ponte Vedra BeachThe former University of Florida golfer carded a 1-under 71 on Saturday, his second 71 of the tournament. Tyler McCumber, Ponte Vedra BeachThe Nease High and University of Florida graduate, and son of 1988 Players winner, Mark, fired his second even-par 72 of the tournament.
‘Pretty awesome’: Tyler McCumber cards even par in first-ever round at Players
Tyler McCumber plays a shot on the fourth hole during the first round of The Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 11, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Tyler McCumber’s first round in The Players Championship was a success. McCumber, a Nease High and University of Florida graduate, shot an even-par 72 in his debut at TPC Sawgrass. “I didn’t really know what my first round at The Players would feel like, but it was pretty awesome,” McCumber said. “He came out of his office yesterday talking golf, and I said, ‘you know the rule, no golf when we’re away from the course,’” Tyler said.
The Players volunteer spotlight: Things have changed quite a bit for Nichols
The legion of volunteers at The Players Championship are one of the most integral parts of the event. Things have changed for Nancy Nichols at The Players Championship. Now in her 45th year as a volunteer for the tournament and serving as the chairman on the gallery management committee, Nichols started out pretty basic. When the event was first played in Ponte Vedra Beach, it was called the Tournament Players Championship and held at Sawgrass Country Club. With the reduced crowds, Nichols said that there are only 451 volunteers on the course for gallery management in 2021.
The Players volunteers ready for big challenge
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – One of the components that powers The Players is the massive volunteer force that turns out each year. And every year, there is a new Volunteer Chairman who oversees the other Red Coats on the volunteer committee and the thousands of volunteers underneath them. But as you mentioned, safety and health of everyone involved, whether it be the fans, the volunteers, or the players, is it’s going to remain our number one priority this year. “We’ve developed safety and health protocols so that we can present the tournament in a safe, responsible manner,” Smith said. “Normally we’d meet once a month with staff leading up to the tournament, as we get closer to the tournament we meet every weekend.
The Players tees up big surprise for young cancer patients
Baptist Health gave Bender Middlekauff tickets for him, his family and friends to attend The Players Championship. But little did he know that when they got there, he’d wind up meeting his favorite professional golfer, Justin Thomas. “He called me out by my name at the 16th tee: ‘You’re Bender, right?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re Justin Thomas. 25-year-old @BaptistHealthJx cancer patient, Bender Middlekauff, met his favorite player pro golfer Justin Thomas at @THEPLAYERSChamp. @wjxt4 pic.twitter.com/fZ9vG0BFGr — Brittany Muller (@BrittMullerNews) March 10, 2021Another young cancer patient’s dream was fulfilled Wednesday with an invitation to The Players from his favorite golfer, Dustin Johnson.
The Players volunteer spotlight: Nimnicht family tradition still going strong
The legion of volunteers at The Players Championship are one of the most integral parts of the event. Lee Nimnicht was part of a lost art at The Players Championship. … That’s where I started.”Lee Nimnicht helps put up a scoreboard at The Players Championship many years ago. Nimnicht is in his 45th year as a Players volunteer. She became the first woman to serve as the chair for The Players Championship, serving in that role in 1997.
Not quite a “10” on the Gaughan Gauge (give it one more day)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – I am often asked how do I compute the Gaughan Gauge? Maybe too warm lately? You get the idea... but ultimately the afternoon temperatures have to be between 75-82°. Now, Thursday, afternoon highs will reach into the mid to upper 70s, especially inland areas. The Players will have highs in the low 70s, quickly cooling into the 60s during the afternoon hours.
PGA’s Jay Monahan: ‘Challenging moments,’ but optimistic about future
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Jay Monahan remembers it all too well. The PGA Tour commissioner made the call to cancel the final three rounds of The Players Championship and that made things painfully real. The return to TPC Sawgrass for The Players this week is a step, a small one, in a staggered return to normalcy. For Monahan, the Tour staff, the 154 golfers and small army of Players volunteers, it’s a very welcome return to the area. Ad“I think this is an important week for us every single year but particularly so this year,” Monahan said on Tuesday.
The Players tees off this week with changes in place
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Players Championship officially tees off this week, with practice rounds open to the public starting Tuesday. The number of fans at the tournament this year will be limited each day. “I think for our volunteers, our staff and our players to have an opportunity to show we can do this safely and to finish it,” said Jared Rice, executive director of The Players. “And when we do that, it’s going to be really awesome for our community.”Rice explained one of the changes to this year’s tournament that fans will notice. The Players Championship returns: Fan’s guide to the 2021 tournamentThe Players was canceled after the first round last year, so Rice said it was important to make sure the tournament happened this year.
F-15 Eagles honored, celebrated service members during local flyover
125th Fighter Wing to bring the “Sound of Freedom” to entire community on Tuesday’s Military Appreciation Day at THE PLAYERSJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four F-15 Eagles flew over various Northeast Florida locations on Tuesday to honor and celebrate service members, bringing the “Sound of Freedom” to the entire community for The Players’ Military Appreciation Day. The 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG conducted the flyover near NAS Mayport, TPC Sawgrass, NAS Jacksonville and downtown Jacksonville. RELATED: The Players Championship returns: Fan’s guide to the 2021 tournamentOver the last year, the 125th Fighter Wing have played an especially crucial role in Florida’s COVID-19 response. AdAerial footage captured by an F-15 pilot“The 125th Fighter Wing, Home of the Thunder, is extremely proud to perform the flyover for military appreciation day in honor of our fellow service members and community of supporters,” Col. Matthew J. French, 125th Fighter Wing commander, said. Again, thanks to all, and when you hear our mighty F15 eagles thundering over, know that they’re from your 125th Fighter Wing, Where the Thunder is the Sound of Freedom!”Ad
Match4Military: Daylong fundraising campaign to support Northeast Florida military organizations
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The Players Championship kicks off this week at TPC Sawgrass, and News4Jax is teaming up with The Players this year for a daylong fundraising campaign called Match4Military. Typically, people come out to the tournament’s Military Appreciation Day ceremony and concert on the 17th hole every year. But this year, both events are canceled, so Match4Military is providing a way for everyone to come together remotely and give back to those who have given so much to our country. “Tuesday, March 9, we’re going to market with a community campaign in order to drive, hopefully, more than $500,000 in charitable benefit to military charities,” said Jared Rice, executive director of The Players. The Players will match donations dollar for dollar up to $250,000, and the money raised will benefit several different military organizations in Northeast Florida, including Wounded Warrior Project and The Fire Watch.
Koepka withdraws from Players Championship with knee injury
Brooks Koepka hits from the seventh fairway during the final round of the Workday Championship golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)ORLANDO, Fla. – Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from The Players Championship next week with what his manager described as a strained right knee. Koepka won the Phoenix Open last month and was a runner-up in the Workday Championship last week. He has been saddled the last few years with injuries to his left knee, including a partially torn patella. His manager at Hambric Sports, Blake Smith, said Koepka would meet with doctors this week for a better evaluation and no further details. Koepka was planning to play the Honda Classic the following week, and he had the Dell Match Play after that as the Masters on April 8-11 gets closer.
Brooks Koepka out of The Players
Brooks Koepka tees off on the second hole during the third round of the Workday Championship golf tournament, Feb. 27, 2021, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Two-time major championship winner Brooks Koepka will not play in The Players Championship because of an injury. 12 in the World Golf rankings, competed in the World Golf Championship event last week but did not tee off in the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend at Bay Hill. “Brooks strained his right knee and he is scheduled to further consult with doctors this week to receive a more extensive evaluation and outlook,” said Blake Smith, Koepka’s manager. According to a release by the PGA Tour, “With Koepka’s withdrawal, the field now includes 48 of the top 50 in both the FedExCup standings and the Official World Golf Ranking. He will be replaced in the 154-player field by Anirban Lahiri of India, unless a player not otherwise exempt wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.”AdKoepka was expected to be in one of the featured groups in the first two rounds of The Players along with John Rahm and Patrick Reed.
The Players Championship returns: Fan’s guide to the 2021 tournament
Rory McIlroy hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the first round of The Players Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)Players Championship week is here, and we’ve got the important information all right here for fans who plan on attending — or watching — the tournament at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. AdParkingThe general parking lot is located at 5360 Palm Valley Road in Ponte Vedra Beach. Costs are $15 for pre-tournament days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and $40 for tournament rounds (Thursday through Sunday). The jets will leave NAS Mayport at 11:57 a.m. and fly over TPC Sawgrass at noon.
No. 1 ranked Dustin Johnson among top golfers committing to The Players
(AP Photo/Ryan Kang)The world’s number one player has committed to The Players Championship. Defending FedEx Cup champion Dustin Johnson committed to play in next week’s event. Johnson has only one career top 10 finish at The Players. Also committing Tuesday, the world’s number three ranked player, Justin Thomas. The Players tees off Thursday, March 11 at TPC Sawgrass.
Duval County Teacher of the Year surprised with tickets to Players tourney, more
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2021 VyStar Duval County Teacher of the Year got another surprise on Tuesday when members of The Players organization stopped by his school. Jim Schmitt, who teaches history and global perspectives and research at Mandarin High School, is a huge golf fan. So a group from The Players Championship stopped by the school Tuesday morning to give Schmitt a gift basket, which included two tickets to this year’s sold-out Players Championship! Throughout his career, he has excelled as a teacher leader, developing a writing program for at-risk students, writing a $10,000 grant for a school-to-work program, and serving as a standards coach. When COVID-19 hit, he took a leadership role in helping teachers collaborate even more, developing a community discussion group to exchange technology strategies that work.