The 2018 Players Championship recently occurred, and with the event consistently contested between the 50 top ranked players on the tour, among others, it seems competitivity levels may be at their peak. With an array of players capable of winning the event, intriguing rounds may occur, with players striving to expand their trophy cabinets. When also coupled with the tournament boasting a large prize fund, which, until 2015, was the highest of any competition in golf, it seems incentives for victory may be vast. Whilst other events may officially hold the title of major, the event seems to be held in a similar light, with this solely serving to showcase the status of the tournament. As such, several factors might be contributing to its potential success, and if they may retain this position, its legacy may be advanced further.
With the inaugural competition commencing in 1974, it seems to have consistently undergone innovation to retain its high status, and ensure it may continue to contribute to golf expanding its viewer base. The event itself has been held at a multitude of different courses, perhaps in the organisers’ quest to ensure it remains challenging and competitive for players. Achieving this may be pivotal in ensuring they remain motivated to compete each year, as it may be key in advancing their capabilities. In the aftermath of the 2006 edition, further renovation occurred, including increasing the size of the clubhouse to 77,000; with the players providing positive reviews for these changes, it seems the organisers may be achieving their goal of appealing to the masses, whilst also providing for the players.
With the event’s history perhaps the key contributor to its high regard, it may be important for the players to play at their peak capabilities in order for further history to be created. Recent editions seem to have contributed to this goal, with the 2017 tournament perhaps the most notable example: Kim Si-woo emerged victorious, becoming the contest’s youngest winner aged 21. This seemingly provided him with an influx of opportunities to succeed, and with a number of other editions providing intriguing conclusions, motivation for this year’s crop of athletes to supersede these feats may be at its peak. Webb Simpson ultimately achieved this, advancing his legacy with victory by four shots. Considering he led for the majority of the competition, and played consistently across all rounds, he may have warranted the $1.98m winner’s cheque.
Whilst Simpson may claim the plaudits, a large degree of focus may be on Tiger Woods, who seemed to play proficiently in his quest to win his third title. As a veteran of the sport, and someone who has attained a vast trophy cabinet via victories in a multitude of tournaments, he may be regarded among the favourites. With his recent absence resulting in him being ranked outside the top 1000, he may have been placed in challenging circumstances. As such, the necessity to showcase his abilities may have intensified, and entering the tournament ranked 92nd might have signalled a return to to his peak. This tournament may have been pivotal in enabling Woods to have a pathway back into the pinnacle of the sport, highlighting how he may continue to possess the capabilities to aim for titles.
Ultimately, this tournament seems to hold a high regard in golf, with this, in turn, enabling it to have a larger reach across the entirety of the sporting world. Therefore, it may be well equipped to attain further focus for golf, and the benefits the sport provides. As such, enticing players such as Tiger Woods to compete may be increasingly important, with his status contributing to the aforementioned ideology whilst also increasing the strength in depth of the field. With the football World Cup approaching, this period may thus be pivotal in ensuring gold may retain focus as other sports host important events.
How might this tournament earn the status of a major event?