For years, Monday was a moneymaking day on the PGA Tour. Not in competition, but rather at corporate outings, appearances and making money for charity. With the amount of money available each week at the regular Tour stops, some of that has disappeared.
Monday’s at major championships are full of practice rounds and arrivals and that’s becoming the norm at the Players.
“Some weeks I am, some weeks I’m not,” Brandt Snedeker said as he made his way to the putting green. “But it’s such a big event for us, I’m out here today, which is something I normally wouldn’t do.
More and more you hear players putting more emphasis on The Players, invoking the dreaded “M-word.”
“I’m treating this like a major championship,” the 8-time PGA Tour winner explained. “I’m going to play some golf today, hit some balls. I’ll amp up for tomorrow, and Wednesday will be kind of a light day to get ready for Thursday. You want to be prepared and give yourself every opportunity to play well.”
While he didn’t call it a major, Jacksonville Beach’s Matt Every said he was here today to get some work in because it’s in his hometown.
“Normally I don’t go to the golf course on Monday. Since I’m here, I might as well come and get some practice in. And it’s a little bit bigger week, this week means a little more so I’m trying to fine tune as much as I can.”
If there’s one thing that raises the profile of The Players, it’s the significance the competitors place on the tournament. Many of them remember watching it on television, fascinated by the golf course.
“Got a lot of family and friends out here,” Every, the former Gator explained. “I remember coming out here as a kid. Brings back a lot of memories so it’s a big week.”
And as far as Snedeker is concerned winning here is a big bump on your golfing resume. He’ll start the competition with Danny Willett and Justin Rose at 8:10 on the 10th tee Thursday.
“This is a huge week for us. It’s our flagship event on the PGA Tour. We view this as a major championship, the best field in golf. The course is in great shape, hopefully it brings out your best golf.”
Also going off the 10th tee Thursday with Webb Simpson and Ernie Else at 7:48, Every, a 2-time winner on tour says the Stadium Course should get your attention immediately.
“Accuracy off the tee is big,” he explained. “Grinding out here is big. If you get caught going through the motions here it can be a long week. Just make sure your brain is turned on all week.”