The Players Championship 2010 is one of the biggest non-majors in golf. This week, the 2010 Players Championship is even more important, as it could mean a changing of the guard. Even if Tiger Woods keeps his number one ranking anyway, there’s still a lot he needs to answer. After he contended at the Masters, fans were eager to declare that he was back, until he missed the cut last week. Now that Phil Mickelson has all the momentum on the course, he can actually seize the number one ranking with a win on Sunday. At the least, the Players Championship is the rubber match in Woods’ comeback.
Woods did so well at the Masters, until he faded away in the last round. Afterward, he did even worse at the Quail Hollow championship, missing the cut for the first time in years. For his third post-scandal tournament, will Woods be the contender he was to start the Masters, or the player who seemed to have nothing at Quail Hollow?
The Players Championship 2010 also has Phil Mickelson under the radar, as he seeks to continue his new momentum. After winning the Masters, and finishing second at Quail Hollow, Mickelson has gotten closer than ever in the world rankings. It says something that Woods could be off for several months, and only now gotten close to losing No. 1, but now that’s finally an option.
To do this, Mickelson must win the Players Championship, and have Woods finish outside the top five. Perhaps that might be too much to ask for, as order will have to be restored soon enough. Yet the fact that Mickelson is now this close to Woods shows how upside down things have become.
Heading into the Players Championship 2010, it is more unclear when Woods will go back to his old self, if ever. While Woods struggles to find out, golf needs Mickelson to carry the torch for a while until then. Then by the time Woods is back on form, perhaps he and Mickelson could finally have the showdowns that golf has waited for.
For this week, they have to actually get in contention before they can square off at the Players Championship 2010. This morning, Mickelson was the first to tee off, as he is at even par through six holes. Woods will start at 1:28 p.m., along with Rory Mcllory, Ian Poulter and familiar playing partner K.J. Choi. But lesser known names like Alex Prugh and Charley Hoffman got off to big early starts this morning.
The Players Championship 2010 goes live on the Golf Channel at 1 p.m. EST, in time for Woods’ tee-off.
Yahoo Sports- “2010 THE PLAYERS Championship – Leaderboard”
San Jose Mercury News- “Golf: Phil Mickelson has a shot at No. 1 ranking”