Predicting the TPC winner

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PONTE VEDRA ” No Tiger may mean no buzz for The Players Championship but there are still 1.7 million reasons ” the winner’s share for this year’s event ” for the golfers to be grinding this week.

The course will play firm and fast which could open up the field even more. No matter what the conditions, it’s always difficult to predict golf even when Tiger Woods is playing (although he’s the safest bet). But I’m going to try anyway.

Winner ” Adam Scott. To be honest, he’s become a sexy pick here. But he’s hot and well-rested with only seven tournaments played so far this year (the fewest of anyone in the top five other than Woods) and has won here before.

Top contenders

Phil Mickelson is the defending champ and the firm greens are going to put a premium on the short game.

Stewart Cink has the game to compete here and tied for third a year ago.

Anthony Kim is only 22 -years old but is coming off an awesome performance a week ago.

Geoff Ogilvy is under the radar, but don’t be surprised if he’s in the final pairing.

Darkhorse candidate

How about Dudley Hart? Hart comes in off consecutive top 10 finishes and has made four straight cuts here. He’s on a roll and length is not as big a deal at TPC Sawgrass as it is at the majors.