The 2022 Players Championship is now underway at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The annual tournament is one of the biggest non-major events on the PGA tour Play began at 7:45 a.m. ET (due to weather delay)with Adam Schenk, Kramer Hickok and Lee Hodges teeing off from Hole No. 1. Brian Harman, Russell Knox and Beau Hossler opened the event at hole No. 10.
The early afternoon will feature some marquee play groups, one that includes defending Players Championship winner Justin Thomas.
Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa are scheduled to tee off at 1:56 p.m. ET from the first hole. On the same hole at 1:45, Scottie Scheffler, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele will begin their rounds. Scheffler is fresh off a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Fans can check out the full field at ThePlayers.com.
Results for the opening round should be rolling in throughout the day, and fans who want to keep track of the latest scores and standings can follow PGATour.com's live leaderboard. Television coverage is scheduled begin at noon ET.
Here's a quick look at all the scheduling information you need, along with some of the latest early buzz surrounding the 2022 Players Championship.
Where: TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
When: Thursday, March 10-Sunday, March 13
Thursday, March 10: 12-6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, ESPN+
Friday, March 11: 12-6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel, ESPN+
Saturday, March 12: 1-6 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock
Sunday, March 13: 1-6 p.m. ET on NBC, Peacock
Over the next few days, golfers in the Players Championship will have to battle the course, each other and quite possibly some inclement weather. The tournament was originally scheduled to kick off at 6:45 a.m. ET but was delayed by an hour due to weather.
"Rd. 1 tee times at [the Players Championship] are currently delayed by one hour due to overnight rain and area thunderstorms," PGA TOUR Communications tweeted just over an hour before the scheduled start.
This probably isn't the last we'll see of rough weather at TPC Sawgrass over the weekend.
"Rain and thunderstorms are likely both Thursday and Friday as a frontal boundary drops into northern Florida and stalls," PGA TOUR meteorologist Wade Stettner said on Wednesday, per Ben Everill of PGATOUR.com. "This front is forecast to bring periods of rain with embedded thunderstorms over the two-day period."
According to Stettner, thunderstorms could also move in early Saturday, though the weather is expected to dry out for Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Weather delays are entirely possible, so fans may want to check in regularly rather than following the posted schedule.
This year's Players Championship field is a star-studded one. However, reigning Masters-winner Hideki Matsuyama won't be among the golfers chasing the top prize this weekend.
"Reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama just withdrew from The Players Championship due to a back issue," Josh Kendall of The Athletic tweeted.
Matsuyama had been scheduled to tee off at 8:40 a.m. ET from the 10th hole and would have been among the top golfers to watch. In addition to winning last year's Masters, Matsuyama led the 2020 Players Championship when the event was canceled after one round due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having already won two PGA events this season (ZOZO Championship, Sony Open in Hawaii), Matsuyama carried plenty of momentum into the Players. He finished tied for 20th at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Matsuyama will have a chance to defend his Masters crown next month at Augusta. He was replaced in the Players field by Patrick Rodgers.
When Justin Thomas tees off in the early afternoon, he'll be looking to become the first golfer to win back-to-back Players Championships.
However, Thomas isn't approaching the tournament as a title defense.
"I'm not defending this title. The PGA Tour isn't going to come to my living room and take my Players Championship trophy from 2021 from me after this week," Thomas said, per Dave Shedloski of Golf Digest. "… I'm just going to go try to win it again. That's all I'm going to try to do."
It's a solid approach that should help alleviate the pressure Thomas faces over the weekend. This isn't boxing or MMA, and if Thomas doesn't finish atop the leaderboard, it won't diminish what he's already accomplished. Thomas can focus on playing his best possible round each day.
This doesn't mean, though, that Thomas doesn't have an excellent chance of repeating and ending the back-to-back drought that has existed since the Players Championship was introduced in 1982.
"Nobody has averaged more birdies-or-better per round at TPC Sawgrass since 2016 as JT (5.26)," The Athletic's Justin Ray wrote.
The group of Thomas, McIlroy and Morikawa will definitely be worth following throughout Thursday.
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