What Is The Players Championship In Golf?

What Is The Players Championship In Golf

The Players Championship is an annual golf tournament on the PGA Tour that is played at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The Players is a highly prestigious tournament, boasting the largest prize fund on the PGA Tour at $25 million. For that reason, The Players is often called “the fifth major.” Read on to learn more about The Players Championship in golf, including its history and format.

  • Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
  • Course: TPC Sawgrass
  • First Tournament: 1974
  • Par: 72
  • Length: 7,189 yd (6, 574m)
  • Tour: PGA Tour
  • Format: Stroke play
  • Prize Fund: $25 Million
  • Most Wins: Jack Nicklaus (3 wins)


The first Players Championship was played in 1974 at Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Georgia. The tournament was originally called The Tournament Players Championship until a name change in 1988. The tournament was conceived by then-PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman. Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural Players Championship, and would go on to win two more times in the following four years.

For the first few years of the tournament, The Players Championship moved around to different courses throughout the country, being played in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. The Players Championship permanently moved to TPC Sawgrass in 1982, where the tournament is played today.


Similar to most other events on the PGA Tour, The Players Championship follows typical stroke play rules. It is a four-day tournament with a cut after the second round has concluded. After 36 holes (two rounds) have been played, the top 65 golfers (including ties for 65th place) in the standings will play the next two rounds, while the rest are cut, ending their tournament.

In the first and second rounds, players are grouped in threesomes. Once the field has been cut after 36 holes, players will be paired in twosomes for the final two rounds.

The winner of The Players Championship will win $4.5 million, which is the largest winner’s check on the PGA Tour. The winner will also earn 80 Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, 600 FedEx Cup points, a five-year PGA Tour exemption, and three-year invitations to all four majors.



There are 144 players in the field at The Players Championship. To be invited to play in the tournament, players must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Winner of an event since the previous Players Championship
  • Top 125 from previous year’s FedEx Cup points list
  • Major champion in the past five years
  • The Players Championship winner in the past five years
  • Tour Championship, World Golf Championship, Memorial Tournament, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Genesis Invitational winners from the past three years
  • Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking
  • Senior Players Championship winner from prior year
  • Korn Ferry Tour money leader from prior season
  • Money leader during the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, if not the regular-season money leader
  • Top 10 current year FedEx Cup points leaders
  • Remaining positions and alternates filled from the current season FedEx Cup standings

The only player to win The Players Championship more than twice is Jack Nicklaus, who won the tournament three times throughout his career. He won all three tournaments in a five year span, with his first in 1974, second in 1976, and third in 1978. There are four golfers that have won the tournament twice: Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, and Tiger Woods.


What is The Players Championship?

The Players Championship is an annual golf tournament on the PGA Tour, held every March in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at TPC Sawgrass. The Players Championship is a featured event on the PGA Tour calendar and is often referred to as “the fifth major.” Many big names in the sport have won the tournament, including Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Fred Couples.

What player has the most Players Championship wins?

The player with the most Players Championship wins is Jack Nicklaus, who won the tournament three times. Nicklaus won the tournament in 1974, 1976, and 1978. Five players have won the tournament twice: Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, and Tiger Woods.