Trouble With TPC Sawgrass Greens Could See Players Championship Move To March
The struggle to "find the right formula for the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course greens might result in The Players Championship moving back to March in the future," according to Garry Smits of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem on Tuesday said such a scenario is “unlikely,” but also said that unless the agronomy staffs at the Tour and the TPC Sawgrass can "figure out the right formula for maintaining the greens during the winter, the May date that the tournament has occupied since 2007 will come under further discussion." Before there are any "serious discussions about changing the date, the Tour will wait a few years to see the results of Stadium Course greens after they are re-sodded" in the summer of '15 (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/7). Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Gene Frenette writes, "Let's not pretend staging The Players Championship without Tiger Woods -- never mind that it's during the NFL Draft -- isn't somewhat of a buzz kill." Three times in the last six years, the tournament has been "Tiger-less, either by first-round withdrawal or injury." And in each instance, the Sunday leaderboard in '08, ’10 and ’11 was "not exactly packed with star quality." Frenette: "For the love of Q scores, would it be too much to ask a certified star -- Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson or promising 20-year-old newcomer Jordan Spieth -- to give the Players a Sunday jolt by raising the crystal trophy?" It is "nothing against all those no-names who have occupied Sunday leaderboards without Tiger in recent years," but this is the PGA Tour's "headliner event, and fans at the TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course prefer some sizzle at the finish line" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/8).
DINING OPTIONS: The TIMES-UNION's Smits reported there are "new food venues" at this year's tournament. There also is a "new fan hospitality venue that will feature more local food, the Michelob Ultra Blue Room VIP Lounge." Friday tickets for the Blue Room are "already sold out." Other existing fan areas also have been "enhanced or enlarged." Before and after eating, fans "eager to watch" players will have "better views on a course already built with their vantage points in mind." The dining areas also are "strategically located so that fans have only a short distance to get to the nearest hole" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/5).