THE PLAYERS Championship announced last week that Tiger Woods, the 2001 and 2013 champion of THE PLAYERS, and Phil Mickelson, the 2007 champion, have committed to play in the 2018 tournament, at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass May 8-13.
Woods and Mickelson have a combined 122 PGA Tour wins and are No. 50 and No. 4 in the FedExCup standings, respectively.
Woods, who is in search of his first PGA Tour victory since the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, is the only player in golf history to win THE PLAYERS, the Tour Championship, the FedExCup and all four major championships. Woods was unable to defend his 2013 title at THE PLAYERS due to a back surgery, but returned in 2015 and finished T69, his most recent start at TPC Sawgrass. This year, he earned a spot in the tournament due to the five-year exemption that exists for past champions of the event.
Woods is one of six two-time winners of THE PLAYERS (Jack Nicklaus has won the championship three times), where he owns 16 made cuts in 17 starts, including one runner-up (2000) and three additional top 10s. He also ranks second behind only Sergio Garcia in career money earned at THE PLAYERS ($4,421,241.90), and his 13 consecutive made cuts at THE PLAYERS is the second-most in tournament history, behind only Sergio Garcia and Brad Faxon, who each own 14 straight made cuts.
Should Woods win THE PLAYERS this year, he would join Jack Nicklaus as the only three-time winners of the event (1974, 1976, 1978), and he would also notch his 80th TOUR victory, bringing him within two of Sam Snead for most wins on the PGA TOUR.
Mickelson recently earned his 43rd PGA Tour win at the WGC-Mexico Championship in a playoff against reigning FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, 23 years his junior. As Mickelson looks to become the seventh player to win THE PLAYERS more than once, he is also in search of his first multiple-win season on Tour since 2013.
Mickelson won THE PLAYERS in its inaugural showing in May, overcoming a one-stroke deficit to 54-hole leader Sean O'Hair and posting rounds of 67-72-69-69-277 to finish two strokes ahead of Sergio Garcia, who would go on to win THE PLAYERS the following year. It took the then-36-year-old Mickelson 14 starts at THE PLAYERS before his first victory — the most before a win of anyone except Tom Kite and Fred Funk, who both needed 15 starts at THE PLAYERS before their first win. He also owns the three-best finishes ever by a left-handed player at THE PLAYERS — 1 in 2007, T3 in 2004, T8 in 1998.
Other players who have committed to THE PLAYERS Championship 2018 include Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Si Woo Kim.
According to the PGA Tour, players not otherwise exempt who are inside the top-50 of the Official World Golf Ranking as of Monday, April 30, qualified for THE PLAYERS. The final opportunity to qualify for THE PLAYERS would involve either winning the Wells Fargo Championship or moving into the top-10 in the FedExCup standings.