Alex Prugh is wondering what all the fuss is about.
"It's an easy hole," Prugh said with a laugh. "I ended up pulling a 9-iron, just a nice little chip 9-iron with wind hurting it a little, and you have a backstop there on that front pin. I hit it how I wanted to and it ended up just being pin high, however many feet to the right."
Despite Thursday being the first time Prugh has played No. 17 in competition, he does have good history on it - kind of.
"I've birdied every time I've played it before this, basically on Tiger Woods Golf."
Wait a minute, what?
"You kind of get a feel for it in Tiger Woods," said Prugh. Some breaks, some places not to be. If you have a tough up-and-down on that game, you know not to be there in real life because it's even that much worse."
There wasn't much that was tough for Prugh on Thursday.
"Fortunately, it's not one of the tightest courses off the tee," Prugh said of the Stadium Course, "and there's definitely a bunch of holes that favor a draw.
"I like to hit a little rope-a-dope hook out there every once in a while, so a lot of holes that fit my eye." -- Mark Spoor
Ben Crane is now in the lead at 6 under through his first 13 holes with birdies on each of his last three holes. In all, Crane has seven birdies and just one bogey. He’s done what he does best, keeping the ball in the fairway and hitting a lof greens in regulation – Crane has missed just two fairways and one green.
Crane, who won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year, has a history of playing well here. Each of the last two years, Crane has finished in the top 6. The lowest opening round here, in case you’re wondering, is a 64, shot by Greg Norman in 1994. That also happens to be the course record, which he shares with Fred Couples.
Alex Prugh, who led much of the morning, has fallen back to 3 under after a double bogey on No. 7, where he hit it left off the tee and into the water. -- Brian Wacker
Alex Prugh has extended his lead to two shots thanks to five birdies and no bogeys through his first 14 holes. So far, Prugh has missed just two greens and he’s averaging just over 1.5 putts per green in regulation.
As a rookie on the PGA TOUR, this is obviously Prugh’s first PLAYERS Championship. The last player to win here in their first appearance was Craig Perks in 2002.
Meanwhile, there is a logjam of players behind Prugh -- Troy Matteson, Stephen Amex, J.B. Holmes and Ben Crane are all 2 under at the moment. -- Brian Wacker