The tournament is sponsored by the PGA Tour and was first played in 1974. Then known as the Tournament Players Championship, it was renamed THE PLAYERS Championship in 1988.
The elite field of players is selected using a formula consisting of various criteria, including rankings, and Tour and "Majors" victories. Players also join the field through invitations from THE PLAYERS Championship Committee.
Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural 1974 event with a 272 score and is the only three-time winner. Greg Norman set the scoring record in 1994 with a 264 and there have been several two-time winners.
In addition to the largest purse on the PGA Tour, winners receive the following exemptions: PGA Tour - 5 years; Masters and British Open -- three years, and exemptions to the U.S. Open and PGA Championship for that year.
The May tournament has had several host courses from 1974 through 1981, but its home since 1982 has been THE PLAYERS TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course, which is famous for the island green on the 17th hole.