Press Release: The Players Championship 2018
Past champions Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Si Woo Kim commit to THE PLAYERS Championship 2018
The 2008, 2014 and 2017 champions have 15 PGA TOUR victories amongst them; Kim looking to become the first repeat champion of THE PLAYERS
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – THE PLAYERS Championship announced today that three past champions—Sergio Garcia, Si Woo Kim and Martin Kaymer—have committed to play in the 2018 tournament, contested at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass May 10-13, 2018. Each of these former champions defeated the best field in golf to earn the coveted title of THE PLAYERS Champion and will return this May to compete on the purest test of golf at the Stadium Course.
Sergio Garcia (2008)
2018 marks the 10-year anniversary of Garcia’s playoff victory over Paul Goydos, where the Spaniard earned his first PGA TOUR victory in three years and seventh overall (he now has 10 total wins on TOUR) after finishing runner-up the year prior. Garcia began the final round three strokes back of leader Paul Goydos but made a clutch 7-foot putt for par on the 18th to shoot a 71 in tough conditions, with winds gusting up to 40 mph. Goydos, playing in the final group, missed a 15-foot par putt on the last hole for the win, leading to the first playoff at THE PLAYERS since 1987. For the first time in tournament history, the playoff began at the famed island-green 17th. Goydos hit first – unfortunately, into the water. Instead of playing it safe, Garcia hit his shot to within five feet to claim the biggest victory in the then 28- year-old’s career. Since Garcia’s victory in 2008, he captured three more PGA TOUR titles, including his thrilling Masters victory last year. The win was just the start of a whirlwind 2017 for the Spaniard. Garcia married his now- wife, Angela, in July, and the couple just welcomed a baby girl, Azalea Adele, into the world on March 14, 2018. In his three starts of the 2017-18 season, Garcia has not missed a cut, with his best finish coming most recently at the Valspar Championship, where he finished fourth. Since his 2008 win at THE PLAYERS, Garcia has not missed a single cut, amassing five top-25 and three-top 10 finishes in his nine proceeding starts in this event. He finished T30 last year.
Learn more about Garcia’s win by clicking here.
Martin Kaymer (2014)
When Martin Kaymer opened with a record-tying 63 (which he now shares with five others) at THE PLAYERS in 2014, the 29-year-old German probably never imagined that he’d need to drain a bending, sidehill 28-foot putt for par at the famed 17th hole to hold onto the lead. After a thunderstorm halted play on Sunday afternoon, Kaymer returned to the course, made a double bogey at the 15th hole and watched his lead drop to one stroke. He then made dramatic up-and-down saves for par on the 71st and 72nd holes to win by one stroke over Ponte Vedra resident Jim Furyk and two strokes over 2008 champion Sergio Garcia and secure his second TOUR victory. The following month, Kaymer became the first player in history to win THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open in the same year and the fourth player to win a major in the same season as their victory at THE PLAYERS, joining Tiger Woods (2001 Masters), Hal Sutton (1983 PGA Championship) and Jack Nicklaus (1978 Open Championship). Since his 2014 victory, Kaymer—like Garcia—has not missed a cut at THE PLAYERS, finishing T56, T39 and T69 the past three years, respectively. Kaymer is in search of his first TOUR victory since the 2014 U.S. Open but is coming off a strong 2017 season, where he made the cut in all 10 starts and recorded five top-25 and one top-10 finishes. In two starts on TOUR this season, Kaymer finished T53 at the Genesis Open and withdrew from the Honda Classic with a right wrist injury.
Learn more about Kaymer’s win by clicking here.
Si Woo Kim (2017)
THE PLAYERS Championship’s most recent winner, South Korea’s Si Woo Kim, has formally committed to play in the 2018 event as he looks to become the first repeat winner of THE PLAYERS. Kim began last year’s final round two strokes off the lead but posted the only bogey-free final round, a 3- under 69, to become the youngest winner of THE PLAYERS, the event’s second Korean champion along with 2010 winner K.J. Choi and the first player from Asia to win twice on the PGA TOUR before the age of 22. Kim’s third round of the tournament was marked by his incredibly daring driver off the deck on the 14th hole from 270 yards, which he hit to 83 feet and two-putted for par. Kim visited TPC Sawgrass several weeks ago to take part in THE PLAYERS Championship media day, during which he donated his driver to the clubhouse to be permanently displayed alongside clubs from all other past champions. Since Kim earned the biggest victory in his young career last May, he advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs (finishing 54th in the standings) and qualified for the International Team at the 2017 Presidents Cup, recording a 1-2-0 record and earning the only full point for his team on day three after Kim and partner Anirban Lahiri defeated Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman of the United States 1-up in the afternoon Four-ball match.
Learn more about Kim’s win by clicking here.
Suggested social media posts:
Past champions @TheSergioGarcia (2008), @MKaymer59 (2014) and Si Woo Kim (2017) (@siwookim95 on Instagram only) formally commit to @THEPLAYERSChamp!
Volunteering at THE PLAYERS is a unique avenue for not only golf fans, but also for those looking to support an event that gives millions of dollars back to the community and to become a part of the team that works tirelessly to make the tournament a showcase of excellence. For those interested in applying to be a volunteer at THE PLAYERS this year, please visit THEPLAYERSvolunteers.com.
THE PLAYERS returns to TPC Sawgrass May 8-13, 2018. More information about THE PLAYERS is available at THEPLAYERS.com.
About THE PLAYERS Championship
THE PLAYERS Championship annually combines the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Grant Thorton LLP, Optum and Morgan Stanley are the exclusive Proud Partners of THE PLAYERS. Proceeds from THE PLAYERS benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled more than $92 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $8.7 million generated in 2017. In April 2011, THE PLAYERS announced a new charitable focus, committing to generate $50 million for youth-related charities over 10 years. For more on THE PLAYERS and the surrounding area, visit THEPLAYERS.com or floridashistoriccoast.com.
About Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.7 billion and operates 59 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.
“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions. Please see grantthornton.com for further details.
Optum is a leading information and technology-enabled health services business dedicated to helping make the health system work better for everyone. With more than 135,000 people worldwide, Optum delivers intelligent, integrated solutions that help to modernize the health system and improve overall population health. Optum is part of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 42 countries, the Firm’s employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.