The Players Championship will once again possess a lucrative field, but there will be some notable absences this year, too.
In the 144-player field, all but two of the world’s top 50 players will tee it up next week at TPC Sawgrass. Harris English, Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods are the only qualified players to not commit to the event.
Amid controversy from comments he made regarding the Saudi-backed super league, Mickelson will miss The Players for only the third time since 1992. Mickelson was absent from the event in 1994 after breaking his leg skiing and in ’03 due to the birth of his second daughter. In a statement last week addressing his comments, the 51-year-old said he was taking a break from golf.
English won twice last year and was a part of Team USA’s historic Ryder Cup beatdown, but hasn’t made a start since January as he’s been dealing with a nagging hip injury that stems back to last fall.
Stricker, last year’s U.S. Ryder Cup captain, continues to recover from a health scare that hospitalized him for two weeks in late 2021.
Woods will miss The Players for the third straight year as he is still recuperating from his February 2021 car crash. He didn’t play the event in 2020 because of a back injury, however, the tournament was canceled after Day 1 due to COVID-19. Woods’ presence will still be felt next weekend, as he is being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Bryson DeChambeau is currently scheduled to return from his wrist injury and make his first start since early February. Last week he was slated to come back for his Arnold Palmer Invitational title defense, but withdrew Monday ahead of the event.