With two weeks to go until the strongest field in golf reconvenes at TPC Sawgrass, THE PLAYERS Championship will profile three players each week to highlight the biggest storylines and set the stage for the 2023 championship. Justin Thomas, the 2021 champion, will be joined by Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau, with the American trio combining for six victories during the 2021-22 PGA TOUR Season.
The 2021 PLAYERS Champion will look to become the seventh multiple winner of THE PLAYERS and first since Tiger Woods won his second in 2013. Thomas overcame a seven-stroke deficit after 36 holes with weekend rounds of 64-68, tying the championship record for the closing 36-hole score. His win at TPC Sawgrass came in his sixth career start and marked his second top-10 in the event (T3/2016). Thomas won once during the 2021-22 season – the PGA Championship – for his 15th career victory, which served as the seventh consecutive season on TOUR with at least one victory.
With three victories during the 2021-22 season, including back-to-back starts at the Travelers Championship and Genesis Scottish Open, Xander Schauffele seeks to add an eighth career victory to his resume at THE PLAYERS in 2023. In five starts this season, the native Californian has four top-15 finishes, including a T3 finish at The American Express. The 2017 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year returns to TPC Sawgrass for the fifth consecutive year with hopes to recapture what led to a T2 finish in his championship debut in 2018 – his only top-10 finish at the event.
Tony Finau returned to the winner’s circle twice during the 2021-22 season with back-to-back victories at the 3M Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic and went on to finish ninth in the final FedExCup standings. In the 2022-23 season, Finau continued his winning ways with a victory at the Cadence Bank Houston Open in November for his fifth career TOUR title. In five starts since his victory in Houston, Finau has not finished outside the top 20. The Utah native is set to make his seventh appearance at THE PLAYERS as he looks to improve upon his career-best finish of T22 in 2019.