In succession the number one player in the world, last week’s winner on the PGA Tour and the 2016 Masters Champion all stepped up the podium to address this year’s Players Championship.
“This is the toughest field we have all year, It’s a big even and it’s getting bigger and bigger,” said world number one Jason Day.
“To me it’s similar to Augusta, every hole is special. Every hole you can make 10 or make 2,” said last week’s winner in Charlotte James Hahn.
“One,” Masters Champion Danny Willett said when asked how many times he’s played golf since winning at Augusta.
Just ask a question to any of these players, currently among the most recognizable on the PGA Tour, and you’ll get different answers about the course, their state of play and life in general.
Hahn revealed that the five hour drive from Charlotte to Jacksonville was accompanied by a crying baby in the car only to be overshadowed by the number of times he and his wife said, “Two-Time PGA Tour Champion.”
When asked if he’s changed more “nappies” (diapers) or signed more Masters pin flags in the last month, Willett chuckled “I’ve changed a few nappies, but there’s been a lot of signing that’s had to be done.”
And Day explained that his world ranking at number one gives him more confidence than ever being here.
“Yeah, I think it definitely feels different,” Day explained. “Obviously I haven’t had the greatest finishes here at THE PLAYERS Championship, but with that said, I feel a lot more prepared this year than I ever have in my career coming into this event. So I’m hoping that is a little bit of a different result this year.”
And as the top ranked player, Day says getting a Players win is on his list.
“It’s a golf tournament that you really do want to win and have it on your resume at the end of your career because it’s such a huge event. This is one of those tournaments where, if you’re on the border of getting into the Hall of Fame, this could kick it over and get you into the Hall of Fame.”
Wow. THE PLAYERS making the difference of getting into the Hall of Fame or not. That’s a first.
And Hahn says looking at the future and not the past, visualizing success and making it happen helped him overcome eight straight missed cuts and win last week in Charlotte. Even making a 10 on #16 at TPC can be a positive thought. Because the golf course can get in your head.
“I play every hole with a different mindset. I think it’s one of the toughest golf courses that we play all year. There’s not one hole where you can take for granted and say this is an easy par hole or an easy birdie hole. There is trouble everywhere. Hole 16 is very special to me. I had made, I think, a 10 on it last year and it was the best 10 I have ever made. I could have been a lot worse.” Whatever it takes!