2012 PLAYERS: Updates on the 17th hole

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May 10, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
WATCH HIGHLIGHTS FROM 17: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3

Balls in the water (since 2003)
Year Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Cumulative
2012 18 12 4 6 40

2011 12 14 8 6 40
2010 7 8 5 9 29
2009 14 6 4 6 30
2008 20 18 10 16 64
2007 50 21 10 12 93
2006 19 17 12 9 57
2005 7 8 25 28 68
2004 9 10 4 7 30
2003 6 10 3 10 29
By the numbers: 2012 statistics
Round Aces Birdies Pars Bogeys Doubles Others Stroke Avg.
1   27 82 24 8 1 3.134
2   24 91 13 8 1 3.058
3   11 55 4 1 1 2.972
4   22 39 7 3 1 2.917
TOTAL   88 267 48 20 4 3.045

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The island-green 17th hole is among the most famous holes in golf. Here are the latest numbers and daily updates (at bottom) for THE PLAYERS Championship in 2012.

SUNDAY'S FINAL ROUND

DIFFICULTY: The 17th ranked as the 13th-most difficult hole during the final round.

HOW THE LEADER PLAYED IT: Matt Kuchar safely found the green with his tee shot, but he was 43 feet, 9 inches away from the pin. His birdie utt left him 4 feet, 5 inches away ... and he missed the putt to save his par.

That left Kuchar at 13 under, but he held on for the two-shot win by making par at the 18th hole.

CLOSEST TO THE PIN: Stewart Cink nearly became the first player in 10 years to ace the 17th hole when his tee shot rolled 10 inches to the pin. As it turned out, that was the closest to the pin that any player came this week.


TIGER AT 17: Tiger Woods didn't have many bright spots this week at THE PLAYERS Championship, but he was able to birdie the 17th twice. It is the first time in Woods' career that he birdied the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass twice in one week.

SATURDAY'S ROUND 3

DIFFICULTY: The 17th ranked as the 13th-most difficult hole during the third round.

HOW THE LEADERS PLAYED IT: Kevin Na's tee shot remained dry, but it didn't find the putting surface but the fringe of the green left of the pin. His birdie putt inside 20 feet left him with a tap-in par. Na had birdied the 17th in each of the first two rounds.

Matt Kuchar was one of just four players to find the water on Saturday, and it cost him a share of the lead. Kuchar did well to salvage a bogey, but the lost shot proved to be the difference on the 54-hole leaderboard, as he trails Na by one going into Sunday's final round.


THREE IN A ROW: Johnson Wagner is the only player in the field who has a chance to birdie the 17th hole in every round this week. He made a 6-footer there on Saturday after successful birdie putts of 11 and 15 in the first two rounds. Kevin Na and Rickie Fowler had their third straight birdie opportunities, too, but were unable to convert. Paul Azinger is the only player to birdie the 17th in all four rounds, in 1987.

FRIDAY'S ROUND 2

DIFFICULTY:The 17th ranked as the 12th most difficult hole during the second round.

HOW THE LEADERS PLAYED IT: Zach Johnson hit his tee shot to 46 feet, 4 inches and two-putted from there. He saved par by making a putt outside seven feet.

Kevin Na hit a terrific tee shot to inside seven feet and holed the birdie putt. That gave him a share of the lead with Johnson.

Matt Kuchar's ball landed in the general area that Johnson's tee shot landed hours earlier, just over 47 feet from the pin. Kuchar hit a nice birdie putt that stopped 2 feet from the hole for an easy par.

LATE FIREWORKS: Possibly the day's most exciting group on the 17th was the next-to-last one to play it. J.J. Henry, J.B. Holmes and Troy Mattesson hit their tee shots a combined 8 feet, 5 inches from the back pin position, with two of the three converting their birdie putts.

Henry, who was one shot outside the cut line when he stepped up to the tee first, landed short of the pin and rolled over the left side of the cup before settling 4 feet, 4 inches behind the hole. Holmes, hitting second, landed short and hit the pin as it rolled by, settling just 2 feet, 3 inches from the cup. Not to be outdone, Mattesson landed his tee shot just left of the pin and his ball settled an inch closer than Holmes's.

Henry and Holmes converted their birdie bids, but Mattesson, who was the only member in the group to not hit the hole with his tee shot, was also the only one to not make his birdie putt. He settled for par.

18TH'S WETTER: Through the first two rounds, there have been 30 balls in the water at the 17th -- and 35 balls in the water at the par-4 18th hole.

MARTIN'S TROUBLES: The Gauntlet prevented Martin Laird from having the solo lead going into the third round, as he lost four strokes over the closing three holes at TPC Sawgrass. Included in that stretch was a double bogey at the 17th when he found the water. Laird said the shot from the drop zone isn't exactly an easy one either.

"You've got 90 yards, from a pin that's three yards from going in the water," Laird said. "I was just trying to hit that middle of the green and didn't get it up far enough. So that's the hole; everyone knows what to expect."

Laird's shot from the drop zone landed 51 feet from the pin, and he did well just to two-putt from there, as he drained an 11-footer for the double bogey. He eventually finished at 6 under, two shots off the lead.


ACE DROUGHT: Going into this year's tournament, there were 4,344 tee shots played on No. 17 since the last hole-in-one (Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2002, first round).

THURSDAY'S ROUND 1

DIFFICULTY: The 17th ranked as the seventh most difficult hole during the first round.

HOW THE LEADERS PLAYED IT: Ian Poulter hit a beautiful 9-iron that landed less than 10 feet to the right of the pin, then drained the putt for birdie. It was the ninth consecutive hole during his 7-under 65 in which he one-putted the green.

Martin Laird also hit his tee shot just to the right of the pin inside 10 feet and made his putt for birdie en route to his bogey-free 65.

ANGEL'S WOES: Angel Cabrera hit three balls in the water in the first round. He rinsed his tee shot, then came up short twice more after taking a drop both times. His seventh shot finally found the green and Cabrera two-putted from 15 feet for a 9, easily the highest score on the hole today.

Entering the final round of The PLAYERS Championship last year, Cabrera had played the 17th at -3 through 25 career rounds with only two bogeys. But in the final round he recorded a double-bogey, and now followed that with the 9. (Cabrera eventually withdrew on Thursday.)

Amazingly this is not Cabrera's worst score on a single hole on the PGA TOUR in his career. He made a 10 on the par-3 sixth at Southern Hills in the first round of the 2007 PGA Championship.

NICE TWO-PUTT: Adam Scott was 58 feet, 5 inches from the pin and on the far edge of the green after his tee shot at the 17th.

Although he had avoided the water with his tee shot, he was fearing a long putt that could have rolled past the pin and possibly into the water if he wasn't careful. But his birdie attempt stopped within 18 inches for the easy tap-in par during his 4-under 68.

"I took my time on that one for sure, because although it's one you think you just get over the hill and get down there, it keeps running toward the water beyond the hole," Scott said. "You know, I was stalling a little bit coming in, and it would have been a real shame to drop another easy shot with a 3-putt there.

"So we took our first time, and sent it out quite wide and came down at the right speed. So a good read from Steve (Williams, his caddie)."

QUICK QUOTE ON 17: "I think it's a short, hard par 3. I think those are fun. I think everybody enjoys playing those type of holes." -- Matt Kuchar

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