The Norman Transcript

National Sports

May 8, 2013

Players Championship course a mystery to best players

(Continued)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. —

Vijay Singh, with 34 wins and three majors, was runner-up to Woods in 2001. In his 19 other appearances, he never finished higher than eighth. Singh won 17 times from 2003 through 2005. He didn’t record a top 10 at The Players those years — he missed the cut in 2003 — and broke 70 twice.

Ernie Els, another four-time major champion in the Hall of Fame, never had a good look at winning The Players.

Those are the “Big Four” of their generation. That’s a collective 72 appearances, two wins and only four chances at winning.

Why?

“No idea,” said Padraig Harrington, who has ideas on everything. “I’m not sure how you would put it down. You pick four players, and it’s not like all four have the exact same game. Only four chances between them?”

Johnny Miller never had much luck on this golf course, making only two cuts in eight attempts. It was still enough to give him an appreciation of Pete Dye’s creation.

“It’s just a nervous tournament. It’s a nervous week,” Miller said. “That’s why a lot of guys hardly do well here. It’s a course that you have to tippy-toe around, and that’s why Tiger ... he won it, but he’s struggled here. And Phil has struggled here and he won it once. You just get a little glimpse of it once in a while when you can play well, and the rest of the time it just eats your lunch. It’s really a fun event. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

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