July 17 2013
Brendon de Jonge hits his approach to the 17th green in 2010. (Greenwood/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Anyone who follows golf instantly recognizes the island green at TPC Sawgrass. But did you know the PGA TOUR also has an island fairway?
It’s found at Annandale Golf Club – also at No. 17, where it might play a role in deciding this week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.
A driver down the left side of the 409-yard hole presents the safe route. But the right side, where the island is protected by rough as well as water, not only will allow players to go in with a shorter club but presents a better angle to the shallow green.
No. 17 typically ranks near the middle of the pack in terms of difficulty, coming in last year just under par at 3.941. But it was No.1 for the week just three years ago, producing 23 double bogeys and eight triples as windier conditions prevailed.
In 2011, Chris Kirk put himself in position for his first PGA TOUR win with a confident 9-iron into from 140 yards into a stiff breeze, setting up a 5-foot birdie that broke a tie with George McNeill.
“The wind was hurting just enough to make it a perfect club,” Kirk said afterward. “Obviously, that made me a little more comfortable with being aggressive.”