Welcome everyone to #neilerknows. A new and recurring article for all you golf fans where I provide some very (un)professional insight into the PGA Tour’s upcoming tournament and lay my reputation on the line by picking my favourite to win it all. My name is Ryan, a sorta-kinda okay golfer, rookie this year to the Alberta Golf Tour, and lover of a patio, post round bevy or 6. That being said, should I embarrass myself week-to-week I could see our President pulling the plug on this little experiment. We all know how ruthless Leah is!

I also wanted to do a quick shout out to my mom because I know she will be one of the few people that reads this and since the Player’s Championship does finish on Mother’s Day I thought that it would be appropriate. Thank you for always supporting me Mom, but just remember I need my laundry done before my golf trip this weekend.

The Player’s Championship

The Player’s Championship: the unofficial 5th major and home to one of, if not the most iconic holes in golf. It sees over 100,000 golf balls rinsed every year, it leaves pros enraged, reminds us casual hacks of our familiar weekend blunders, and leaves many wondering why we play and still love this silly sport. I’m talking about the island green, Par 3 17th in case you were wondering. Oh, you knew that? Okay just making sure.

In 2000, we saw Hal Sutton fist pump after he, in fact, did select the right club for his approach on 18. In 2015, fan favourite Rickie showed he had stones the size of beach balls proving to all of his critics how overrated he really was, sealed with a Tour WAG victory smooch for the history books. Or how about in 2006, when I shot a TPC Sawgrass course record 22 under on EA Sports’ Tiger Woods for Nintendo? That last one deserves more recognition in my opinion but the list goes on and on of memorable moments.

What I’m trying to get across here is that this course and tournament exude drama and juicy storylines (unless Martin Kaymer wins again then I’d rather watch paint dry) and the appropriately named Stadium Course will be the scene of another fantastic week of golf. Like, have you seen those opening round pairings?! With the inevitable buzz surrounding every tournament Tiger plays in his comeback (Episode Three: Return of the Back) and what could be the best finishing holes in all of golf, for nothing than just pure entertainment, it’s definitely worth tuning in Sunday afternoon. It truly is “better than most”.

Who’s Hoisting the Trophy?

Alright, the reason all of you and my mom are here. This week I’m going with World Number One, Dustin Johnson. And I know what you’re thinking: “sweet pick Ryan pick the best player in the world, really insightful, what a safe pick, I read all that just for a DJ pick?” (all in that order as well). But here’s why I’m picking DJ and for those of you that know me I CAN’T STAND the man so this is actually quite painful.

And don’t even get me started on Paulina. A topic for another article perhaps…

DJ has been quiet since his win at beautiful Kapalua after torching the Tournament of Champions with his insane length. And by quiet I mean he hasn’t won in the 4 months since. He’s due and that’s all it comes down to. He shows up for big tournaments  and even though his track record isn’t the best at TPC Sawgrass, I feel what he has going on between his ears (or what isn’t happening depending on how you look at it) allows him to forget about past results and doesn’t weigh on his performance each week.

Problem now is that I have to cheer for the man so I don’t embarrass myself completely to Alberta’s golf community. I did this to myself. But #neilerknows DJ is going to win.

So? What is your favourite Players Championship memory? What do you think of my pick and who are you cheering for this weekend? Leave a comment on who you think will win and what you think of the Player’s Championship overall. Feel free to interact with @GolfLifeAB and myself at @10Neiler on Twitter so we can chat all things Players Championship this week!

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