DeChambeau the Centre of Attention

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Bryson DeChambeau may be the talk of the town but Dustin Johnson returns to action this week as favourite for the Players Championship.

Bryson DeChambeau celebrates after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bryson DeChambeau won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday and has become the centre of attention for the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

The power-packed driving of DeChambeau was getting most of the focus last week, but it was his putter which proved decisive at Bay Hill, with enormous putts holed at the fourth and 11th in the final round.

Those long putts were enough to beat a plucky Lee Westwood by a shot and DeChambeau fans are going wild for the 14/1 about their man securing back-to-back Florida triumphs at Sawgrass.

DeChambeau, an eight-time PGA Tour champion at the age of 27, has finished 37th and 20th in his two previous completed starts at Sawgrass. He opened with a two-under-par 70 to share 37th place before the 2020 edition was abandoned after one round due to coronavirus concerns.

Given the confidence coursing through his veins – big Bryson said he won the Arnold Palmer with his “C-game” – this could be the week when he seriously contends at Sawgrass for the first time.

Johnson Could Be Ready to Bounce Back

The world number one, Dustin Johnson, returns to action this week and is an 11/1 chance for victory.

The world’s top-five players all skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but all are back for the Players Championship, which is nicknamed the ‘Fifth Major’ because of the quality of the field.

Johnson has been putting poorly for a month, particularly struggling on his debut at The Concession last time out, but his swing remains in a similar condition to that which won him the Masters and the FedEx Cup last year.

If Johnson can remedy his putting woes, then there must be every chance of another trophy, given his remarkable strike-rate over the last five years.

Johnson has won 17 of his last 97 tournaments, a streak of success stretching back to the 2016 US Open, so he is winning 17 percent of his events.

He finished fifth in the 2019 Players Championship – the only player in the field to card four rounds in the 60s.

Matsuyama Relishes Sawgrass Challenge

Each-way punters may be sniffing around the 30/1 about Hideki Matsuyama for the Players Championship.

Matsuyama led the Players after round one, before the event was abandoned last year, having fired a course-record-tying 63. That nine-under-par burst was even more impressive when considering that he carded rounds of 80 and 77 the previous weekend in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 63 showed how much Matsuyama loves Sawgrass, where he finished seventh in 2016 and eighth in 2019. The Japanese ace is on a long winless run – his fifth and last PGA Tour title came in 2017 – but his affection for Sawgrass and encouraging recent form suggests this could be the moment the drought ends.

Matsuyama was 15th in the WGC at The Concession and 18th at Bay Hill. He is an astonishing 20 under par for his last three rounds at Sawgrass.

*All odds correct at time of writing.

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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