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Alex Smalley makes first PLAYERS Sunday ace at 17 since 1997

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Alex Smalley makes first PLAYERS Sunday ace at 17 since 1997

Marks the week’s third hole-in-one at iconic island green

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Alex Smalley came up big on the iconic par-3 17th hole Sunday at THE PLAYERS Championship, delivering the hole’s third ace of the week – and the first at 17 on Sunday since Fred Couples in 1997.

    There are now three aces at the island-green 17th this week, 13 in tournament history, with Smalley joining Hayden Buckley (Round 1) and Aaron Rai (Round 3) as players to ace the hole this week. This is also the first time that No. 17 has yielded multiple holes-in-one in a single PLAYERS.

    The hole features its traditional back-right hole location for the final round at TPC Sawgrass’ THE PLAYERS Stadium Course, after twice utilizing the front left this week (Rounds 1 and 3), with the back left used during Round 2.

    Alex Smalley's incredible one-hop ace at the Island Green at THE PLAYERS

    The 17th is playing to 133 yards for Sunday’s final round at THE PLAYERS, after measuring 125, 145 and 122 yards for the first three rounds respectively.

    Smalley arrived at the hole at 2 over for the week. He made the cut on the number with rounds of 71-75, then carded 3-under 69 in Saturday’s third round. He made double bogey at the par-5 16th Sunday to move to 3 over on the day, but quickly gained back those two strokes with a single swing at the island green. He made bogey at the last for a final-round, 2-over 74. He concluded the week at 1-over total.

    Smalley, who was born in Rochester, New York – site of the upcoming PGA Championship at Oak Hill – is in the midst of his second TOUR season. The Duke alum turned pro in 2019 and earned his PGA TOUR card through the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Finals. He finished No. 71 on the 2022 FedExCup as a rookie; he entered THE PLAYERS at No. 47 on the 2023 season-long points race.

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