Monday, May 14, 2007

2007 Players Championship Goes To The 17th Island Green

What a weekend of golf at The Players Championship in Florida at the TPC Sawgrass. I watched every minute of the golf tournament this weekend and I wasn't disappointed. As a golf fan you had to appreciate how good these PGA pros are.

It seemed like I couldn't leave the room because I felt like I was going to miss some extraordinary golf shot or someone falling victim to the island green at the 17th hole. If you watched the golf play over the weekend then you saw 2-double ealges also know as an albatross. These things are supposed to come around once in a great while... not 2 times in 2 days. I also saw eagles from middle of the fairway and other shots that had no right going into the hole, but then again these guys are the best golfers in the world.

The TPC stadium island green 17th hole grabbed a few golfers by the throat and choked any chance they had of staying in contention. Rory Sabatini came to the 17th on Friday very much in contention and put one in the water... and walked away with a quadruple-bogey 7.

There were many others that feel victim to the 17th, but none were more painful to watch than Sean O'Hair's. Sean came to the 17th hole 2-shots down from Phil Micklson and in 2nd place all by himself, which was worth over $900,000. Sean decided to hit 9-iron straight at the pin where Micklson had just hit a pitching wedge to the middle of the green. Sean's shot had the flag covered, but it flew over the flag and straight into the water. Sean proceeded to the drop area and hit a knock-down wedge that skipped several times on the green and landed...

Sean's golf story growing up with his overbearing father was incredible and I felt myself and I'm sure many other golf fans routing for him to do well. Being paired with Phil in the last group had to have been a lot of pressure, but Sean seemeed to handled it like a veteran pro. Missing his very short birder putts on 15 and 16 proved to be very costly. If he had made only one of those then he wouldn't have had to go for the pin on 17 because he would've been only 1-shot behind Phil.

Sean's knock-down drop shot landed in the water and now he had to drop another ball hitting 5. He got this one on the green and 2-putted for a quadruple-bogey 7... and now tied for 6th place putting Sergio Garcia in 2nd place all by himself. Phil 2-putted for par and they both went to the 18th hole with Phil holding on to a 3-shot lead at 12-under.

Sean and Phil both hit great tee shots into the middle of the fairway. Phil hit first and made things really exciting with his approach shot. Hit a flare 5-iron that barely landed on the green and came about 8-inches from going into the water. They both bogeyed the whole and Phil won his first Players Championship.

I do have to admit that Phil's play on Sunday was awesome. He had great control over his entire game especially his driver. He hit every fairway and hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. The work he has done with Butch Harmon has done wonders for his confidence and ball striking. If Phil continues to progress like he has been then he'll be tough to beat come mid June for the US Open at Oakmont.

Phil took home around $1.6 million and Sean ended up in with a little over $200,000 and out of the top 10. If you do the math then the 17th hole cost Sean O'Hair around $700,000... ouch!


Anonymous said...

Yikes, $700K for a single hole...that hurts but sounds like it was quite a tourney this weekend.

Golf School Nut said...

Sunday's play at TPC was very exciting... especially at the 17th hole. It was too bad that Tiger didn't make a better showing. I would've liked to see Phil and Tiger paired in the last group coming to hole 17 tied.

John Jacobs Golf Schools