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Relive some of the most unlucky shots in the history of THE PLAYERS Championship
From quadruple bogeys and shot penalties to bizarre hazards and missed cuts, we relive the most unlucky shots in the history of THE PLAYERS Championship. Some of the most famed players battled the hardships of the treacherous Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
1987 - Raymond Floyd Raymond Floyd’s mood was already a little testy, given that he had made four birdies on the front nine, only to give ‘em all back with a quadruple bogey at the par-4 sixth. So, when he pushed his drive right at the par-5 11th he was unhappy. But he soon grew even angrier, because his caddie had laid the golf bag on the ground and walked away. Sure enough, Floyd’s ball rolled into the bag and that led to a two-shot penalty. Floyd signed for 74 and would miss the cut.
1998 - Brad Fabel There’s a new hazard at hole 17. After much effort, a seagull picks up the ball of Brad Fabel from the green. With the crowd cheering it on, the seagull flies off with the ball, but, like so many golfers, drops it into the water.
2000 - Tiger Woods Tiger Woods had birdied the tough, par-4 14th and had the par-5 16th next. So, maintaining momentum at the 15th was imperative. Woods steadied himself over a 4-foot putt for par when a gust of wind blew a leaf directly onto his ball. The timing couldn’t have been worse; Woods couldn’t stop his stroke, he flinched, pulled the putt wide, and made bogey. Much golf was still to be played, but when he wound up one shot behind the winner, Hal Sutton, it was easy to be haunted by that dreaded leaf.
2011 - Graeme McDowell Graeme McDowell had a 3-shot lead as he played the par-4 18th to close out his third round Sunday morning. His approach pleased him; slightly left, but OK. He started his walk to the green, then watched in horror; the ball hit the green but kicked sharply left, rolled toward the bank, and took the slope – into the water. Stunned by the double-bogey, McDowell owned a 1-shot lead but went right into Round 4 and never regained momentum. He shot 79 and finished crashed into a share of 33rd.
2015 - Matt Kuchar A birdie at 16 had gotten Matt Kuchar to level par, which he knew would be the cut. When he watched his tee shot at 17 bounce hard and head toward the water, Kuchar figured he had caught some luck as it stayed up. He discovered that it was bad luck, his ball lodged against a wooden plank so he could only hit it backward. Eight inches either way and he would have been fine. But Kuchar could only give himself a 60-foot putt. He missed, made bogey and missed the cut.
2015 - Tiger Woods Starting eight off the lead, Tiger Woods knew he needed a great start so when he made par at the first and pounded a drive down the left side of the par-5 second, he felt OK. But his drive caught the one lone branch that could have caused havoc and he heard a thump. His ball caromed clear to the right side of the fairway, from where he would make bogey and get de-railed quickly. He shot 40 on the front, 75 for his round and never could explain how the ball hit the branch.
2016 - Jordan Spieth Jordan Spieth was trying to scratch his way inside the cut. Birdies at 10 and 11 got him moving in the right direction; he was 2 under when he hit his approach into the par-4 12th. His ball hit the slope wide of the green and appeared headed for the bunker, which Spieth knew would be an easy up-and-down. But the ball came to rest against a rake, leaving him a difficult uphill shot out of deep rough. He made bogey and would miss the cut.
2017 - Ben Crane Ben Crane wasn’t in contention early Saturday morning when he got to the island-green 17th. His first tee shot came up short and splashed. From the drop area, Crane hit a crisp wedge that he knew was quite good – only it was too good. His ball hit the flagstick and caromed back into the water.
2017 - D.A. Points D.A. Points hit what looked to be a perfect shot at the par-3 13th. Points figured the ball would hit near the flagstick, bounce, then check and leave him a short birdie. But the ball hit the flagstick and bounced 20 feet away. He two-putted for par and would eventually miss the cut.
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