Players Championship: Island green at TPC Sawgrass nearly impossible

    ponte vedra beach, fla. – Scottie Scheffler had the unenviable honor of taking the first full swing to the island’s par 3 green when play resumed at noon on Saturday.

    with the wind howling from left to right and hurting, scheffler, winner of two of his last three starts and sailing 5 under par for the tournament, tried to fly a 7-iron that bounced once on land but had too much steam and ended with a splash.

    Reading: Balls in water 17th sawgrass 2022

    next: olympic gold medalist xander schauffele fell short as did four-time major champion brooks koepka. three shots, three water balls. all three had to walk the path of shame to the relegation zone and they would not be the last. When Schauffele found the green surface from 90 yards out, the fans cheered as if he had first hit his.

    A group later, reigning British Open champion Collin Morikawa, who is arguably the best iron player in the game right now, tried to chip a 7-iron but said it hit him “whiffy.” nothing causes more indecision in golf than the wind.

    “It’s not that hard,” Morikawa said of the hole. “You just have to commit to your shot. I just didn’t.”

    Four world-class players were embarrassed by a single 146-yard shot over water. only four of the first 122 players to play the hole had found the water at 17 during calm conditions on Thursday and in the rain on Friday, but the first four did so in wind gusts that were measured as high as 43 miles per hour during the day. was abused to a cumulative sum of 19 more.

    somewhere in the sky, tpc sawgrass architect pete dye was smiling. “I never thought you could intimidate these big players with a 132-yard hole,” Dye said.

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    dye, who long called indianapolis home before his death in 2020, likened the drama at age 17 to the bloodsport of watching a 10-car crash at the indianapolis 500. “He likes to see good racing, but he’s secretly looking for an accident, too. and the guy on 17 is waiting for that crash, waiting for some star to hit his tee shot into the water.”

    Saturday was a pile-up of 29 balls, the total number of balls that suffered a watery grave. there were 10 balls hit in the water at no. 17 on Saturday: nine tee shots and emiliano cricket hit two in the water en route to making a quadruple bogey 7, and that was just during the late first round.

    Michael Thompson’s tee shot was so wide to the right that PGA Tour Live’s John Swantek said it was “closer to the Isle of Flowers than the Isle of Green.” he did double.

    Although they shortened the hole to 136 yards, another 19 Memories were left at the bottom of the lake during the second round, playing to a scoring average of 3.695 before play was suspended due to darkness.

    As chaos mounted in 17, Koepka, Morikawa and Scheffler, came right back after completing their first rounds and started in the last nine. just over three hours later, all three washed their tee shots on their second lap, including a scheffler shank, as the wind was more unpredictable.

    “It’s luck,” said Koepka, who had his best Mozart laugh when his second tee shot went swimming. by his estimation, he has been unlucky, as he has dipped 10 balls in the water at 17 since 2015 and played the hole at 20 over par. “there’s nothing you can do. we hit a flurry. i don’t think it was any harder for anyone here than when me and scottie and xander played. when we first went out, that was my first hit of the day, and i thought i was blowing harder strong. then it went back up when we were on 16. i hit an 8 iron, flew 205 yards on 16. on 17 i hit 105.”

    Defending champion Justin Thomas said Tuesday that the pairings of Tiger Woods and Fred had told him horror stories of hitting 5 or 6 irons against 17 on cold days in the past. he was delighted to walk away with a couple of pairs.

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    “Maybe I shouldn’t have talked about it earlier in the week. They were both giving me a hard time last night about how tough today was going to be,” Thomas said after shooting a bogeyless 69. that.”

    There may not be a better combination of terror, excitement and pressure than the 17th day of tpc, a hole with nowhere to go. Chesson Hadley celebrated back-to-back birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 until he realized that meant he had the honor at the next tee. he joined one of the players to nail his tee shot on 17, he was asked what was the most nerve-wracking shot of the day.

    “really? I mean, he’s blowing 100 on 17 in my face. 17, yeah,” he said, noticing that his shot went up in the air and missed the green. “I bet it went backwards at the end.”

    nobody took it on the chin at 17 worse than sepp straka, who was 5 down and tied for third when he rinsed two in the water and made a quadruple bogey 7.

    Amidst all the stories of heartbreak, it should be noted that not all players on the field experienced heartbreak. Daniel Berger hit his tee shot at 16 feet and rolled in the putt for the first of just two birdies on the day at 17.

    “You’re not even looking at the flag,” Berger said. “you’re just trying to get it on solid ground and do a couple and get out of there.”

    after hudson swafford teed off his tee shot into the water, the next shot from the relegation zone almost went off the green.

    “I don’t know what else I can do?” she said in frustration.

    Just wait, tomorrow there may be another 10-car pileup to watch.

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