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“Number 1” Scottie Scheffler of the U.S. will hunt for two rabbits, the first time in the tournament’s history to win two consecutive games and two consecutive weeks.

The starting stage is the PGA Tour Players Championship, which will kick off at TPC Sawgrass (par 72, 7275 yards) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on the 14th (Korea time).

The championship, dubbed the “fifth major,” has received 25 million U.S. dollars in total just like last year, the largest among PGA Tour events. The prize money is also 4.5 million dollars (6 billion won).

This is higher than the four major competitions. The total amount of prize money for the U.S. Open last year was 20 million dollars, while the Masters, PGA Championship and The Open did not reach 20 million dollars.

Scheffler, the undisputed No. 1 player in the world, lifted the trophy five strokes ahead of the No. 2 player in last year’s tournament.

In the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the fourth signature tournament of the season that ended on the 11th, he also won his first victory of the season by five strokes.

The Players Championship, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, has not produced any players for the second consecutive tournament.

Jack Nicklaus of the U.S. has won three games in his career, but won the title in two years, including 1974, 1976, and 1978.

Fred Couples (USA), Steve Elkington (Australia), Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, and Tiger Woods (USA) have won two games each, but none of them have won back-to-back.

If Scheffler wins this year’s championship, he will be named the first player to win two consecutive championships. It is the first time in 10 years that a world No. 1 player has participated in the championship as a defending champion since Woods in 2014.

Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) challenged to defend his title at the top of the world in 2020, but the tournament was canceled after only playing on the first day in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

The defending champion’s all-time best performance was in fifth place in 1977, 1990 and 2001, which is known as the “defender’s grave,” but it is highly likely to defend the title in this year’s competition.

More than anything else, Schaeffler has a strong shot. He has participated in six competitions this season and won the Top 10 titles five times, including one.

Reflecting this, the PGA Tour’s Internet homepage proudly ranked Scheffler at the top in the “power ranking” that predicted the winner.

Of course, there are many rivals. Except for Jon Rahm (Spain), who is ranking 3rd and belongs to LIV Golf, all of the players ranked 1st to 10th in the world were listed.

The championship also has good ties with Korean athletes. Choi Kyung-ju (안전놀이터) became the first Asian athlete to win the title at the 2011 championship, and Kim Si-woo (28, CJ) became the youngest (21 years old) to win the title at the 2017 championship.

I have high expectations for Ahn Byung-hoon (32) at this year’s event. Ahn has been named top 10 in seven tournaments three times this year. The PGA Tour website lists Ahn as the 11th in power rankings.

In addition to Ahn Byung-hoon and Kim Si-woo, Lim Sung-jae (25), Lee Kyung-hoon (32, CJ), Kim Sung-hyun (25, Shinhan Financial Group), and Kim Joo-hyung (21, Nike) will participate.

Woods, who was expected to participate, will not participate. Woods made his official debut in this season’s Genesis Invitational in February, but has not participated in the tournament since he withdrew in the second round due to cold.

Source: 토토사이트

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