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The Tour Report
  • Featured hole: TPC Summerlin's No. 17

  • Players will be happy with four pars this week on the course's toughest par 3. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)Players will be happy with four pars this week on the course's toughest par 3. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Just shy of four years after Jonathan Byrd’s historic twilight ace, it remains the last time anybody has recorded a hole-in-one at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Perhaps that’ll change as the PGA TOUR plays through its annual Las Vegas stop this week, but it stands to reason that TPC Summerlin’s 17th hole always will be associated with Byrd’s historic playoff winner.

With barely enough light to start a fourth extra hole in 2010, Byrd abruptly ended it when his 6-iron tee shot took two hops on the green and trickled into the darkness of the cup.

As stunning as that was in its own right, it was made more remarkable by the fact that it came on the toughest par 3 at TPC Summerlin. The 196-yard hole consistently ranks among the layout’s four toughest, and was No. 2 that year.

“I do [think about it],” Byrd said last year. “But it’s funny – for some reason it’s sometimes the last thing I think about. I think about some par putts I made and some other birdie putts to stay in the playoff.”

Generally speaking, No. 17 is one of those at which anyone would be satisfied to walk off with four pars. The hole plays downhill, with the green guarded closely by water on the left and bunkers on the right.

Down the Sunday homestretch, it’s not a hole where a pursuer can anticipate making up ground.

“Any player that hits the green here and two-putts for par will be happy with himself,” said TPC Summerlin head professional Mike Messner.

Lost in Byrd’s walkoff drama, for instance, was that the 2010 Shriners probably never would have gone to a playoff if Webb Simpson had parred No. 17. The future U.S. Open champion rinsed his tee shot in the lake on the way to double bogey, finishing one shot out of the playoff.

Simpson took the safe route in winning last year, parring the 17th on all four days.

One year after Byrd’s heroics, No. 17 also provided drama as Kevin Na bagged his first PGA TOUR victory.

Staring at a 42-foot birdie attempt, the Las Vegas resident picked out just the right line on a roller-coaster journey that waited until seemingly the last moment to make its final turn toward the hole.

“I just kneeled down on one knee, just praying that thing would come back,” Na said afterward. “I’m just saying, ‘Do what it’s supposed to do,’ – and sure enough, right at center.”

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