Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Players: Why has there never been an English winner at TPC Sawgrass and when will it happen?

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Eight English players are currently in the field for the PGA Tour’s flagship event, all looking to break a bleak record at TPC Sawgrass; Watch The Players throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players Championship channel.

Last Updated: 07/03/22 11:58pm

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The Sky Sports Golf team delve into the reasons why an English player has never won the prestigious Players Championship and look ahead to who could be the person to break that unwanted trent.

The Sky Sports Golf team delve into the reasons why an English player has never won the prestigious Players Championship and look ahead to who could be the person to break that unwanted trent.

With Rory McIlroy’s win in 2019 and Sandy Lyle’s victory in 1987, the Northern Irish and the Scots have bragging rights over the English when it comes to a winner of The Players.

While an Englishman has come close to being a winner on several occasions – Lee Westwood, Nick Faldo, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald all have runner-up finishes at TPC Sawgrass – England still remains conspicuously absent from the winners’ circle.

“You would have thought one of these great players of the last 20 years would have won, but Phil (Mickelson) has one win there and Tiger (Woods) has two,” American Webb Simpson said. “In all their years, you would have thought they would have won it more. I think it just shows it’s such a hard golf course to win on.”

A look back at some of the most memorable putts made at TPC Sawgrass' iconic par-three 17th.

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A look back at some of the most memorable putts made at TPC Sawgrass’ iconic par-three 17th.

A look back at some of the most memorable putts made at TPC Sawgrass’ iconic par-three 17th.

For a nation that has had 166 competitors in the field over the last 46 years, offering a combined 10 major victories and 40 PGA Tour wins, it remains an odd quirk in what is otherwise an overwhelming success story.

It is even stranger considering the country boasts more success at The Players than any other competition outside of the United States and Australia, as Englishmen have amassed 23 all-time top-10 finishes at the PGA TOUR’s flagship event.

A look back at albatrosses from the likes of Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello at The Players Championship.

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A look back at albatrosses from the likes of Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello at The Players Championship.

A look back at albatrosses from the likes of Brooks Koepka and Rafa Cabrera-Bello at The Players Championship.

Westwood finished runner-up to Justin Thomas in last year’s contest, while Poulter finished second to Ryder Cup teammate Henrik Stenson in 2009 and claimed tied-second to Si Woo Kim in 2017. Eddie Pepperell, Paul Casey and Brian Davis are among the other Englishman to have recorded top-five finishes in the tournament’s history.

Growing English hopes at Sawgrass?

While England has been graced with many great golfers over the years, including Faldo, Peter Oosterhuis and Tony Jacklin, the depth of English talent at The Players wasn’t always as prominent as it is now.

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An average of seven Englishmen have appeared at The Players over the last 17 years, a stark contrast from the previous 26, when England averaged just under two representatives per season.

“There’s always going to be some English players up there,” Sweden’s Henrik Stenson said. “Sooner or later it will happen.”

Ian Poulter is a two-time runner-up at The Players

Ian Poulter is a two-time runner-up at The Players

The rise of players like Westwood, Poulter, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick have given the country more chances than ever at taking home the gold trophy in Florida. Casey and Matt Wallace complete the eight currently in the field, with Aaron Rai an alternate and still in with a chance of a late entry into the field.

With no recent wins to celebrate, those Englishmen in the field will be hoping there’s an English winner sooner rather than later. Could 2022 finally be the year for English success at Sawgrass?

Watch The Players throughout the week live on Sky Sports’ dedicated Players Championship channel. ‘Live from The Players’ is live from 2pm on both Tuesday and Wednesday on Sky Sports The Players.





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