- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Shipnuck: Are we giving Steve Stricker any votes? Or is he out because he's semiretired?
Van Sickle: If Stricker wins anything, it should be an Emmy or a Clio for the new Avis commercial in which he talks about mentally gearing up to play golf. The punch line has him arrive at the course and deadpan into the camera, "I'm a savage."
Bamberger: I'll say Steve Williams. You may say he's not a player. I'll say otherwise.
Van Sickle: Brilliant. So who's the best player who hasn't won a Players?
Bamberger: Again, Steve Williams. He's reading greens well and pulling good clubs, and I think this may be the year he breaks through there.
Shipnuck: Rory McIlroy. He's also the best player who ever boycotted the tournament.
Anonymous Pro: Jim Furyk. It's hard to play at home, which can be a contributing factor. Furyk is longer than Tim Clark and Fred Funk, who have won there, and he's every bit as straight. He has played 17 Players now, but for some reason he and fellow Ponte Vedra Beach resident Vijay Singh never fare that well.
Shipnuck: Vijay is a good one. He's a Hall of Famer who practically lives on the range there.
Garrity: It's interesting that Tiger and Phil have each won once, while seven of the last eight Players winners are nonmajor champions. It doesn't seem like the Players is identifying major-champion-quality winners.
Shipnuck: Rory and Ian Poulter have described the course as fiddly, a Euro term that means quirky or funky. Despite its fearsome rep, the Stadium course is a short, position track where you manage all this weirdness. It's rather fiddly. It's a fun tournament, a fun course, but not much more than that.