Road to THE 2013 PLAYERS


  Going  to eight of the year's first ten tournaments, Ponte Vedra's own golf writer Andy Reistetter has been out on tour more than ever this year. The Road to THE PLAYERS comes through Hawaii, the West Coast, Florida, and Texas before turning down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National. Once again it is time to celebrate the grand finale of another PLAYERS Championship and Mother's Day on Sunday, May 12th. Can former Ponte Vedra resident Matt Kuchar become the first back-to-back champion in this the 40th rendition of the PLAYERS? Join Reistetter as he shares his perspective as the tour comes home to Ponte Vedra.



We like to look to the past to help predict the future. The takeaway from being out on tour this year is to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to the weather. Due to extremely windy conditions on Maui the first event of the year, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions did not even officially start until the day it was suppose to end.  There was play for two of the first three days Which was cancelled out when the wind continued to move balls on the greens. The net result was Dustin Johnson winning for the seventh time in a two-day 54-hole tournament.

Sunshine and warmth appeared on Maui the following week as new tour rookie sensation Russell Henley won in his very first event as a professional golfer. Next Tiger Woods roared with another win at Torrey Pines before Phil Mickelson won another in Phoenix. Runner-up to Tiger and Phil the previous two weeks, Brandt Snedeker the 2012 reigning FedExCup Champion claimed his own championship trophy at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am where the weather was surprisingly very nice.

Snow appeared and delayed the World Golf Championship in Tucson for a day. In the end Matt Kuchar won on Sunday afternoon. It is easy to see the progression in Kuchar's game from the day he won the 1997 United States Amateur Championship then preserved through a seven year drought to his recent successes. After a PLAYERS and a WGC the next thought is a major for "the Kuch" in 2013. Another PLAYERS would be nice; only Jack Nicklaus would have more pictures in the Champions Tunnel.  

Other golfers with local ties are off to a good start and playing well this year- Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Russell Knox, Bud Cauley, Matt Every and Jeff Klauk. Like Fred Funk's win in 2005 wouldn't it be great if Singh or Furyk won their first PLAYERS? Remember Mark McCumber's win in 1995 or when local residents Calvin Peete (1985) and Sandy Lyle (1987) won?  

In Ponte Vedra, we know our community is one of the "best of the best," so come out to the PLAYERS and celebrate Mother's Day too!

Whatever happens, I am out on tour and taking you with me, always longing to return home to Ponte Vedra.