Players Championship Preview

This week CoinRoster is extra excited for the Players Championship because the progressive on our weekly winner’s pool is the highest its ever been. Last week, no user bet on Brian Harman, the eventual winner, so our progressive jackpot rolled over to this week and now stands at 0.236702 bitcoins!

One way to play this progressive is to check the odds on a sports book, then compare the odds on the sports book to the odds in our pool. For example, if the odds for Rickie Fowler are 22 at the sports book and the odds in our pool are 120, then you’re getting much better odds in our pool and our users are getting an edge.

Since the value of the progressive is so high this week (230x the minimum bet) there are lot’s of opportunities on the middle ranked players. Certain players who might be 50 to 1 odds might give our users more than 200x their wager.

This week the PGA Tour stops at TPC Sawgrass for the Players Championships, 7,189 yards, par 72. Already lauded as a course that plays no favorites and deftly tests all parts of a player’s game, the Stadium Course offers two new tests this year for the game’s best players. The narrow water hazard between Nos. 6 and 7 has been expanded into a rectangular lake, removing several trees in the vicinity. More significant is No. 12, which has been turned into a drivable par-4 with both fairway and green sloping toward a new water hazard on the left. What hasn’t changed is the hole that receives the most attention – the iconic 17th, measuring 137 yards over water to a green connected only by narrow rear pathway.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson and newlywed No. 2 Rory McIlroy join defending champion Jason Day to headline what is annually the year’s strongest roster. The lineup features 24 of the top 25 in the current world rankings and 55 of the top 60. Bernhard Langer, 59, is the oldest player in THE PLAYERS field for the third consecutive year. The Hall of Famer will make his 26th start at TPC Sawgrass, getting in by virtue of last year’s victory at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. One additional berth is available for the winner of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship, if he hasn’t already qualified.

Johnson, owner of three straight wins before the Wells Fargo Championship, could use an uptick at TPC Sawgrass. Before last year’s share of 28th, his previous seven starts had yet to yield a top-30 finish. Johnson has broken 70 just once in an opening round – a 68 in 2014. New Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia, the 2008 PLAYERS winner, makes his first start since Augusta National. It’s been 14 years since he missed a cut at TPC Sawgrass – but the past two Masters winners (Jordan Spieth, Danny Willett) missed THE PLAYERS cut after slipping on the green jacket. McIlroy tees it up in competition for the first time as a married man, wedding Erica Stoll in a lavish affair 2 ½ weeks ago at Ashford Castle in Ireland. The reigning FedExCup champion has finished outside the top 10 just once anywhere since East Lake, failing short of knockout play at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.

Zurich Classic Preview

Its going to be a little bit different on the PGA Tour this week. For the first time in decades, a PGA Tour event will be held without stroke play. This week’s Zurich Classic will be the first official PGA Tour event to use a team format since the 1981 Walt Disney Classic. Scoring will work by the top 35 teams and ties will making the weekend. Alternate shot will be used in the first and third rounds, while best ball will be used in the second and fourth rounds, as well as for a sudden-death playoff if necessary.

For fantasy players, its a bit of a letdown. Although its fun to watch tour pros play on teams and different scoring formats are also nice, fantasy players won’t be able to compete in the usual weekly competition. Other fantasy sites are only posting contests for the European Tour event this week in China.

Looking at the field, the biggest names are the Jason Day/Rickie Fowler team and the Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson. Other cheer worthy groups include the all-Canadian David Hearn/Graham DeLaet team and the all-African team of Branden Grace/Louis Oosthuizen. Certainly the most oddball/comical pairing is the team of Bryson DeChambeau/Rory Sabbatini.

CoinRoster users can bet in a pool for who will win the Zurich Classic. The progressive jackpot is currently 0.01615 bitcoins.

The LPGA Tour stops in Texas for the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout. This will be the first tournament back for Lexi Thompson after her controversial loss at Dinah Shore. Other favorites to win include superstars Inbee Park and In Gee Chun, as well as Texas resident Stacy Lewis. Most sports books have local touring pro Gerina Piller at about 50 to 1 odds.

CoinRoster users can bet in this week’s LPGA pool on who will win the Texas Shootout by clicking here.

Fantasy Draft PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational

After our first test game last week, we have posted another Double-Up fantasy contest with a 0.002 btc entry fee this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win, and he is priced for value on our draft list.

The Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, 7,419 yards, par 72. A rustic golf outpost on Orlando’s rural outskirts got a major boost in 1965 when Arnold Palmer proclaimed it the “best course in Florida” upon his first visit. Over time, Palmer eventually bought the place and made it his winter base. The PGA TOUR arrived in 1979, when the old Florida Citrus Open relocated across town to “Arnie’s Place.” Laid out in 1961 by Dick Wilson, Palmer’s constant tinkering over the years has left no doubt about whose stamp it bears. Bay Hill’s closing trio of holes often yields a dramatic finish, most notably Robert Gamez’s stunning 7-iron holeout at No. 18 to vault past Greg Norman in the 1990 edition.

The Field: Jason Day, the final champion to have that special greenside moment with The King, defends his title against a roster that includes a dozen others from the top 25 in the world rankings. Hideki Matsuyama and Henrik Stenson are other top-10 entrants. … Korean pro Jeunghun Wang, with three European Tour wins in the past 10 months, makes his second start on U.S. soil. The first came at last year’s PGA Championship. Also, world No. 11 Alex Noren tees it up on these shores for the first time since Baltusrol. … John Daly, now a PGA TOUR Champions regular, returns to Bay Hill for the first time since 2006. He might be best known around the place for the 18 he carded at No. 6 in 1998.

Storylines: Palmer’s absence from his beloved tournament will hover over the week, an occasion for both sadness and joy in his legacy. Attendees at Bay Hill will see a new bronze statue of Palmer, positioned to overlook the first and 10th tees. Host duties will be shared by a golf foursome – Annika Sorenstam, Graeme McDowell, Peter Jacobsen and Curtis Strange – plus former Homeland Security chief and Palmer confidant Tom Ridge. … Day tees it up for the first time since the West Coast, where he had two top-12s in four starts but was 64th last time out at Riviera. … Stenson, an Orlando resident who lives some 45 minutes away, returns in quest of his first Bay Hill victory. He’s been no worse than fifth in the past three years.

Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC).