The 17th Hole “Experience” at The PLAYERS Championship
When you think of TPC Sawgrass, you think of the 17th island Par 3 – arguably the scariest 130-something shot in golf. Typically, this is a shot the pros could hit blindfolded but when the pressure is on, it’s a different story. It is definitely a risk-reward hole and getting out of there with a par is huge going into No. 18. Why? The 18th at Sawgrass is the second-toughest closing hole on tour going back to 1983. We have seen many PLAYERS won and lost on these final two holes and that’s what it should all be about.
...the 17th island Par 3 - arguably the scariest 130-something shot in golf.
While a lot of the current regular stops on tour value experience, TPC Sawgrass and Augusta National are arguably the two biggest venues where experience matters the most. According to the PGA, the average number of starts before a victory here is slightly over seven. So just like Augusta National, it takes a few years to win here, not including the 2002 win by Craig Perks. In 2016 year for instance, this was the sixth start (three missed cuts) for Jason Day at TPC Sawgrass.
With this being such a prestigious tournament, the field is full of big names with 48 of the Top 50 in the OWGR played in last weeks tournament (Brandt Snedeker and Thomas Pieters not in attendance). Additionally, 12 past PLAYERS champions attended along with 32 major tournament winners. Prior to 2016, the last time a winner won by more than two strokes was 2009 when Henrik Stenson won by four strokes over Ian Poulter. Hopefully, we get back to that excitement in 2018 unless, of course, your golfer is possessing the big lead.