The PGA Tour is home this week -- TPC Sawgrass, the Tour's headquarters -- for the Players Championship.
While TPC Sawgrass may be best known for its world-famous, par-3 17th hole, it's fair to say that the rest of the course isn't all that shabby either -- one of the best on Tour in fact.
Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, the Players Championship is understandably held in high regard amongst the guys on the PGA Tour. Martin Kaymer returns this week as the defending champion, while 2013 winner Tiger Woods makes his first start since a tie for 17th at the Masters. Woods -- out nursing back to health from back surgery -- missed out on his title defense a year ago.
At TPC Sawgrass, you're likely to see a host of superstars on the first page of the leaderboard in the late stages on Sunday.
Here are five of those stars you're going to want to watch.
5. Phil Mickelson
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the Masters
Reason to watch: Not including his runner-up finish at the Masters, it's been a rather forgettable season for Lefty. But, that's the thing about Mickelson these last few years -- he shows up at the biggest events and the Players Championship, while not one of the big four, is right up there. Somewhat surprisingly, the 2007 Players Champion has missed the cut in each of his last two starts at TPC Sawgrass. We all know he's got his sights set on winning the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay a little over a month from now to complete the career grand slam. Now is the time to start building some confidence.
4. Matt Kuchar
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the Humana Challenge
Reason to watch: Kuchar snapped an uncharacteristic run of rough starts with a fifth-place finish at the RBC Heritage. But, the former Players Champion comes to TPC Sawgrass this week after an early exit at TPC Harding. Even so, I'm not worried. Through the years, Kuchar has been solid at TPC Sawgrass. With the consistency he's had there, it's hard to imagine Kuchar not figuring into the equation come late Sunday.
3. Sergio Garcia
Best finish in 2014-15 season: T2 at the CIMB Classic
Reason to watch: Garcia hasn't missed a cut in eight starts this season on the PGA Tour. He's a past champion at TPC Sawgrass and so often has his name in the mix, including last year when he finished third. It seems, a lot of years, TPC Sawgrass brings out the best in Garcia. Garcia hasn't had a great tournament since back in February when he tied for fourth at the Northern Trust Open. It's time to get things back on track.
2. Jordan Spieth
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Won the Valspar Championship and the Masters
Reason to watch: In his first start at the Players Championship one year ago, the reigning Masters champion finished in a tie for fourth. That's impressive. And since then, Spieth has only gotten better. The 21-year-old arrives at TPC Sawgrass following an early exit in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship last week. That may have been -- in hindsight -- just what Spieth needed since things have been so hectic since his win at Augusta National. Now that he's had a little time to rest, Spieth should come out reenergized. Early on in his career, it looks like the sky is the limit for Spieth... so why not at a Players Championship to the resume this week?
1. Rory McIlroy
Best finish in 2014-15 season: Won the WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship
Reason to watch: Up until last week, it had been a disappointing season for the world's No. 1 player. It wasn't a bad one, but whenever he plays now, McIlroy expects to win. He finally notched his first victory in the match play format over at TPC Harding. I think that was just the shot of confidence McIlroy needed to get on another one of his rolls. He also returns to TPC Sawgrass having finished in the top-8 in each of the last two seasons. The course is arguably designer Pete Dye's finest. McIlroy won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in 2012 -- another Dye gem. Sure, the terrain of those two courses couldn't be more different, but the focus Dye demands is the same. In a career that's had plenty of them already, I think this could be another "statement" week for McIlroy.