PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Here is the ranking of holes after Sunday's final round of THE PLAYERS Championship. Ranked in order from most difficult to easiest.
|Rank (in Rd.4)||Hole||Par||Scoring avg.||Avg. vs. par||Overall rank (scoring avg)|
|1 (most difficult)||18
||0.558 over par||Toughest (4.393)
||0.286 over par||4th toughest (4.191)
||0.273 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.247 over par||9th toughest (3.064)
||0.234 over par||2nd toughest (4.282)
||0.182 over par||10th toughest (4.059)
||0.182 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.182 over par||3rd toughest (3.195)
||0.130 over par||12th toughest (4.020)
||0.078 over par||5th toughest (4.139)
||0.065 over par||10th toughest (4.059)
||0.039 over par||11th toughest (4.036)
||0.000 - even
||13th toughest (3.998)
||0.195 under par||14th toughest (3.868)|
||0.221 under par||15th toughest (4.857)
||0.416 under par||18th toughest (4.593)
||0.455 under par||16th toughest (4.705)
||0.455 under par
||17th toughest (4.630)
Tiger Woods won his second PLAYERS Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass. With this victory, Woods ...
• Earns 600 FedExCup points to reach a season total of
2,340. Woods had 2,269 points last year when he was ranked No. 1
entering the Playoffs
• Claims his 78th career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 37 years, 4 months and 12 days in his 286th professional start on TOUR (300th overall)
• Picks up his fourth victory of the 2013 season. Woods has never had four victories by mid-May of any season on TOUR
• Wins for the seventh time in his last 22 starts and for the 16th time in the state of Florida -- most of any state
• Becomes the third consecutive PLAYERS champion to finish at 13-under 275
• Becomes the sixth competitor to win multiple times in the 40-year history of THE PLAYERS
• Completes four rounds at par-or-better at TPC Sawgrass for the first time since 2003
• Has now converted 52 of 56 third-round leads/co-leads into victories in 72-hole PGA TOUR events.
Steve Stricker played his own game on Thursday and finished his round at 5 under. (Heathcote/Getty Images)
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- There is an awful lot of red on the leaderboard at TPC Sawgrass. Thanks to little wind in the morning and receptive greens, 67 players were able to break par. A remarkable 33 players shot 69 or better. We could have a sub-par cut on Friday. It did not take golfers long to figure out they could be aggressive. Players took very bold attack lines because the putting surfaces never really became firm. Approach shots were leaving pitch marks even late in the day. Jason Bohn looked at the leaderboard and remarked, “They are going to take one look at these scores and suck every bit out moisture out of the greens tonight.” TPC Sawgrass has the ability to dramatically change putting surfaces thanks to a “precise air system” underneath the greens but it’s my guess the putting surfaces will become gradually more firm until, by Sunday afternoon, it becomes very difficult to score.
Proximity: I guess somebody forgot to tell Roberto Castro that it takes a while to figure out how to score at TPC Sawgrass. In his first round at THE PLAYERS, Castro missed just one fairway, hit 15 greens and took 26 putts in a course record-tying 63. He did not just hit greens, he stuck it tight. Castro leads the tournament in proximity to the hole, putting from an average distance of 21 feet, 6 inches. You give yourself enough birdie opportunities and you are going to make some putts.
Short: Tiger Woods said the course played short because the ball was traveling so far. He hit a 197-yard 8-iron into the 18th … and hit it over the green. That’s XXL-large. Because the ball was traveling so far, Woods hit very few drivers during the round.
Adjustment: Padraig Harrington knew something was wrong last week while first using his new belly putter. His grip normally sets up open and the longer putter was sitting too square to the ground. He adjusted the grip this week and felt very good about an opening-round 68 that consisted of just 25 putts. Harrington got to experience both frustration and elation in a short period of time. He eagled the second, doubled the third, birdied the fourth and bogeyed the fifth.
Management: Rory McIlroy showed great maturity and course management in the opening round. He frequently hit lay-ups off of tees, valuing position over length. McIlory reasoned he is hitting his irons so well that anything in the fairway with a good lie could lead to birdie. Players call that, “playing to their strength” and it usually leads to low scores. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify your strength and stick to the gameplan. McIlory did both in the opening round. He also switched to a putter that had slightly more loft that McIlroy says gets the ball rolling more quickly.
Practice: Ryan Palmer has not had much success at TPC Sawgrass. He has missed cuts in six of seven tournaments here, so Palmer decided to change things. He did his pre-tournament work back in Dallas, not arriving at the course until Wednesday afternoon. Palmer played just nine holes in a practice round then posted a 67. His mind was clear and his putter was hot. Palmer used just 22 putts in the opening round.
Honors: Steve Stricker knew exactly how he stood with his fellow competitors; he was last in the batting order. Stricker was six under par through 11 holes and never had honors one time. He shot 67 with six birdies and did not hit first the entire day. Stricker played with Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott. McIlroy and Stricker posted the exact same score for the first 11 holes while Scott shot 69 in his first start since winning The Masters.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
Sahith Daglur during Wednesday's practice round at THE PLAYERS Championship. (Photo by Michael Curet)
By Michael Curet, Special to PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Each day at THE PLAYERS Championship this
week, PGATOUR.COM will highlight a junior fan on site to cheer on his or
her favorite golfer at TPC Sawgrass. (Check out our Wednesday Fan Spotlight)
NAME: Sahith Daglur
ATTENDANCE RECORD: 1st
HOMETOWN: Bangalore, India
SCHOOL: National Academy for Learning
FAVORITE GOLFER: Tiger Woods
WHY: Likes the way he plays
HOW HE WOULD PLAY 17TH HOLE: "I would concentrate on getting the ball to the green and not into the water."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- If Rory McIlroy had to do this year over again, he would have played more tournaments at the beginning of the season: To get adjusted to his new equipment; to get adjusted to the suddenly larger-than-life spotlight he’s now in.
“I felt that if it felt good in practice, it would feel good on the course,” he said on the eve of THE PLAYERS Championship.
That wasn’t the case.
McIlroy missed the cut in his first start, got bounced in the first round of a match-play event in his second and walked off the golf course midway through his second round in the third.
Even though it took him longer than expected to adjust, McIlroy wasn’t focused on this year. He was looking at the next 20.
“Taking three months of that to make an adjustment or to change isn’t that big a time frame,” he said. “But I had to play tournament rounds.”
When he did, he eventually turned the corner.
McIlroy finished eighth at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, where he closed with a 65. The following month he finished second in San Antonio. And last week he was in contention at Quail Hollow before finishing 10th after a final-round 73.
“Just getting it done and then not having to do it ever again or go through stages, I'd rather have the process last three months than have it being drawn out over a year or 18 months,” McIlroy continued. “Just get it all done, and if you need to make any tweaks here and there, you do.”
Now he hopes to get something else done: Make the cut at THE PLAYERS Championship, something he has failed to do in three trips here.
Why has one of the game’s best ball-strikers struggled at a place that rewards such traits? The answer is less complicated than you might think.
“The first year I came here I was in Vegas the week before,” McIlroy deadpanned. “That didn't help."
“The second year was my 21st birthday. That didn't help."
“And last year I don't have an excuse. I just didn't play well.”
McIlroy’s last two wins, however, have both come on Pete Dye courses -- Kiawah Island for last year’s PGA Championship and at Crooked Stick a few weeks later in the BMW Championship.
TPC Sawgrass, however, is, in McIlroy’s words, “tricky.”
“It's just one of these courses where the best player who plays well that week will win,” McIlroy said. “It doesn't suit any type of game style. You've got to go out there and play the shots.”
The 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass has provided plenty of drama in recent years at THE PLAYERS.
(PGA TOUR photo)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
For all the wordage given to the iconic 17th hole during THE PLAYERS Championship, a little digging finds far less said than one might expect about the hole that follows.
The 462-yard 18th, after all, historically ranks as the toughest at TPC Sawgrass. Nor does it lack in drama, when you consider the catalog of memorable moments at THE PLAYERS that have transpired on the closing hole.
It’s where “Be the right club today!” went into PGA TOUR lexicon, as Hal Sutton’s 5-iron approach in 2000 stopped 8 feet from the hole for a birdie that allowed him to hold off Tiger Woods.
Two years later, Craig Perks chipped in from behind the green for a par that clinched his only PGA TOUR win. In 2004, Adam Scott’s march to victory suddenly got tense when his approach curled into the water left of the green – presenting him with a delicate chip to set up an eventual 10-foot bogey to win.
Nor is all the good stuff limited to winners. David Toms, with his ball sitting in a sand-filled divot two years ago, used a 6-iron to grit out a birdie that forced a playoff against K.J. Choi. Toms wound up falling on the first extra hole.
“Players really can’t escape the anxiety,” Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee said.
Not only does the 18th green rank as the course’s toughest to hit in regulation, it’s the toughest to putt. Nor is the tee shot all that less daunting.
“(Designer Pete Dye) wanted you to see every piece of wood that meanders down the lake on the left side,” Golf Channel’s Frank Nobilo said of a tee box positioned hard left next to the shoreline.
Indeed, No. 18 ranks fifth-toughest in hitting the fairway, too.
The tee shot will have a slightly different look this year, with the loss of the big oak tree that guarded the right side of the landing area. Two large pine trees now stand in the same vicinity, though the overall effect remains to be seen.