By the numbers: No. 17 at THE PLAYERS Championship
March 14, 2021
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- March 14, 2021
PGA TOUR – The CUT
‘Better than most’ 20-year anniversary
New PLAYERS champion Justin Thomas faced his 5-foot, 6-inch par putt on the island green knowing it was a pivotal moment for his chances. He knew Bryson DeChambeau had a close look at eagle behind him on 16 and Lee Westwood was still breathing down his neck.
He had already missed numerous putts Sunday – in fact he would lose -2.053 shots to the field in Strokes Gained: Putting to rank 64th of 71 players. So when he drained the putt that mattered, Thomas couldn’t help but give it a fist pump.
"The hair on my arms and neck and legs were standing straight up walking to 17 green, and I had to play five to eight yards for adrenaline just because of the fans and the moment on 17,” Thomas said. “But it felt great. I mean, that's why we all play. That's why we all do this. It did feel great to be able to execute and hit some great shots in front of those fans today.”
Not long after Westwood has his own moment on the 17th. His par putt, to stay within one of Thomas, was a little longer at 7-feet, 3-inches. But it petered out of pace and refused to fall in – a cruel blow for one who fought so hard all day.
The craziest shot of the day was by Brendan Todd - who could only laugh off a horrific shank that almost landed on the other island in the middle of the lake where the famous oak tree stands alone.
Earlier all eyes were on Australian Adam Scott. The 2004 PLAYERS champion had birdied the 17th in the first three rounds after being closest to the pin each day. His combined 5-feet, 9-inches of proximity over three tee shots was the best ever recorded and he needed to get Sunday’s shot within 16-feet, 2-inches to take the four-round record.
“I just went at the pin because it was fun to do so. I was just trying to make another two, it would’ve been fun to make four 2’s,” Scott would say afterwards.
Unfortunately for the 40-year-old his ball failed to find land and went to a watery grave. He would eventually settle for a double bogey.
“The wind was in the direction it shouldn’t have been in, but I thought it was so light anyway I’d just force it through… it was right at it… but it came up a bit short. You have to get it perfect on that one,” Scott added.
“The other days - they were all very good shots. Saturday was the easiest pin but the shots on the first two rounds were really good, particularly on the first round when it was a bit spicy up there and I had to control that one the most.”
While Scott didn’t earn closest to the pin Sunday his fellow Australian – 46-year-old PLAYERS debutant Cameron Percy – managed to get the honor at 3-feet, 10-inches. Percy also had the honor of landing the longest putt of the tournament on 17 – a 55-foot, 4-inch birdie in round two.
Actual Yardage 133 yards Balls in the water 10 Closest to the pin 3' 10" Holes-in-one 0 Birdies 12 Pars 32 Bogeys 19 Doubles 6 Other 2 Scoring average 3.352
James Hahn drains 54-footer for birdie at THE PLAYERS
“Then put your little hand in mine, There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb, Babe… I got you babe…”
Rumor has it former PLAYERS champion Adam Scott was seen singing the infamous lines from the Sonny & Cher song notoriously repeated in the movie Groundhog Day after owning the par-3 17th island green for the third straight day.
The 2004 winner at TPC Sawgrass made his third birdie in three rounds, this time from 2-feet, 6-inches, to once again be the closest to the pin. The hole was cut in the iconic front section of the green, 20 years on from Tiger Woods’ infamous “better than most” putt.
On Thursday Scott hit his tee shot to 1-foot, 7-inches before hitting it to 1-foot, 8-inches Friday.
He has indeed been better than all so far. His combined 5-feet, 9-inches through three days is a clear record since that date has been kept (2003) besting Retief Goosen’s 15-feet, 1-inch worth in 2011. Scott now has the four-day record in his crosshairs – a 21-feet, 11-inch week from Kevin Chappell in 2016.
Only 14 birdies were made there Saturday, none bigger than leader Lee Westwood’s 24-foot, 11-inch downhill slider to set up a two-shot buffer.
Actual Yardage 121 yards Balls in the water 8 Closest to the pin 2' 6" Holes-in-one 0 Birdies 14 Pars 41
Bogeys 9 Doubles 7 Other 0 Scoring average 3.127
Lee Westwood drains downhill birdie putt on No. 17 at THE PLAYERS
Former PLAYERS champion Adam Scott is making a submission to keep the pin in the back portion of the iconic 17th green after the Australian went close to holing out for the second consecutive day.
With the hole located just a few paces right of its Thursday mark, the 2004 TPC Sawgrass winner lasered an approach to just 1-foot, 8-inches – the best of the day. On Thursday Scott hit his tee shot to 1-foot, 7-inches.
Thursday’s carnage was not replicated with just 13 water balls compared to 35 from the previous round. There was nothing worse than a double bogey and even Byeong Hun An made par – a day removed from carding an 11.
Actual Yardage 146 yards Balls in the water 13 Closest to the pin 1' 8" Holes-in-one 0 Birdies 24 Pars 102
Bogeys 16 Doubles 11 Other 9 Scoring average 3.092
Adam Scott nearly aces the Island Green at THE PLAYERS
Byeong An will have nightmares for years to come after dumping four balls in the water at the par-3 17th green on Thursday. An needed to make a 4-footer for an octuple bogey 11 on the iconic hole to ensure Bob Tway’s 12 from 2005 remains the highest score on record for the drama-filled short hole.
The former International Presidents Cup team member saw his tee shot come down short of the green before he hit two shots long from the drop zone and a third short from the same spot before finally finding dry land with his ninth shot.
An wasn’t alone having trouble in what appeared to be perfect conditions. Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Na and Maverick McNealy all carded 8s in their rounds as the 17th played as the second toughest hole of the day (3.351).
On the other side of the coin former PLAYERS champion Adam Scott hit the shot of the day, going within a whisker of a hole-in-one before settling for birdie from 1-foot, 7-inches. The longest putt of the day was Sebastian Munoz’s 46-foot, 9-inch birdie bomb.
Actual Yardage 143 yards Balls in the water 35 Closest to the pin 1' 7" Holes-in-one 0 Birdies 30 Pars 84
Bogeys 18 Doubles 13 Other 9 Scoring average 3.351
Byeong Hun An cards 11 on No. 17 at THE PLAYERS