THE PLAYERS: Nightmares on the iconic 17th at TPC Sawgrass

THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass, 17th hole, (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
THE PLAYERS Championship, TPC Sawgrass, 17th hole, (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Iconic 17th at TPC Sawgrass torments competitors on the opening day of THE PLAYERS. It’s a hole that proves the stuff nightmares are made of. That is how players will be describing one of the most iconic holes in golf for the rest of the weekend, or an even shorter amount of time if the island green of the PAR 3 cost’s them a weekend tee-time.

The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass is one of the most recognizable holes in golf, sitting at just 143 yards and playing no more than a wedge shot out for most tour pro’s, it’s a hole that should be there for the taking, but this sentiment could not be further from the truth.  The green sits on an island surrounded by water and is quite possibly one of the most intimidating holes in golf, or that’s at least how it played throughout Thursday’s round.

Many a player went into the water at the 17th during the opening round of the PLAYERS.

Thirty-nine players left the 17th hole with at least a bogey on Thursday, among that group there were eight players that left with a triple bogey or worse, and then there were the unfortunate six players that left 17 with a quad or worse on their scorecard.

In fact, there were also two nearly moments during the first round of play as well, first, the number of balls that found a watery grave during the opening round on the iconic hole totaled 33 a figure that is the second most ever during a single round. Then there was Byeong Hun An’s nightmare on the short PAR 3 when he recorded an 11, the second most strokes ever recorded on the 17th hole.  The Korean fell one stroke short of the all-time record of 12.

Byeong Hun An would not be the only player to be tormented by 17 on Thursday though, all of Charl Schwartzel, Maverick McNealy, and Kevin Na would go on to record quintuple-bogey 8’s on the infamous hole. Kevin would even go on to withdraw from the event after his disastrous performance on the PAR 3 when he fired three of his golf balls into the drink.

The island green PAR 3 17th at TPC Sawgrass has the uncanny ability of mentally intimidating golfers, something that famed architect Pete Dye would have had in mind when he created the famous hole. One bad shot on this hole can not only ruin your round but your entire tournament, something that was on full display on Thursday