Tiger Woods works with putting coach at The Players Championship

On form Rory Mc Ilroy blasts into contention at Sawgrass yesterday just two behind leader
Tommy Fleetwood

On form Rory Mc Ilroy blasts into contention at Sawgrass yesterday just two behind leader Tommy Fleetwood

That Tommy Fleetwood ranks among the most recognizable players on Tour owes less to his record than to the flowing mane that spills from his cap.

"There were some tough holes there, but I kind of drove it so well that I was always in a good position", Fleetwood said. The past winners of this event, which was introduced and called the Tournament Players Championship until 1988, is a who's who of the game's greats.

However, before we get to the first major championship at Augusta in about a month, we've got golf's unofficial fifth major to discuss.

At last year's showpiece, he bravely launched a final day charge up the leaderboard at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, getting to eight under for the day before a quadruple bogey seven at the famous par-three 17th signature hole sank his hopes.

He came close past year at the U.S. Open, where he finished a stroke behind champion Brooks Koepka after a closing 63.

Italian Francesco Molinari has also gained momentum coming into the Players after a spectacular putting performance nabbed him the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.

Simpson came in 18 under par after four rounds to win the Players a year ago. "It just didn't happen for me". However, I think I've nearly secured my card for next season, so it releases some stress a little bit and this will allow me to play my own game. It really doesn't matter if you hit the water or the green at that point, it's just an incredibly feeling playing a hole where some of the legends have hit incredible shots that live in the memories of the game forever.

"I love the course".

"It's a serious event, on a serious golf course with a serious field". It's just about as fair as you're going to get a test.

"If you ask any player if they'd rather win a Players Championship or a major, everyone is going to say a major".

Despite shooting 65, which included a scintillating 30 on the front nine (his second nine), Fleetwood said he's conscious of the need to remain focused on the three-day task left at hand. "Driving is a strength for me normally and if you put it in play all the time in general you have a big advantage". 'I feel good. I needed last week off.