PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — TPC Sawgrass is in incredible condition, but The Players Stadium Course is becoming more difficult by the minute as 90-degree temperatures and a steady breeze have combined to make the host course play firmer and faster as the second round unfolds.
The result? Disaster holes have been commonplace on Friday, including a 10, two 9s and an 8.
First, the worst. Anirban Lahiri showed up to the final hole of his round inside the cut line at even par. He could stand to probably make a double bogey on the difficult 18th hole and still manage to make the weekend. That … did not happen.
Lahiri quickly put three balls in the water on the left side of 18 with a trio of snap hooks that were as much an act of resignation as anything. With the fourth ball, Lahiri finally found the fairway, laying 7 with 125 yards to the hole. His lone iron swing of the hole found the green, then he two-putted. 10. Missed cut.
Then there was Zac Blair, who made a 9 on the par-3 17th. While Blair’s score was just as much of a sextuple bogey as Lahiri’s, Blair’s felt more heroic.
147-yard par 3.
It's now playing as the hardest hole today.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 12, 2017
Blair, playing alongside Blayne Barber and Tyrone Van Aswegen, put three balls in the water from the tee on the island green. However, as Blair said to his caddie after the second ball went long and into the water (just as the third did), they were “two of the best shots of (his) life.” Blair was the victim of shifting winds and the firming greens, but he wasn’t deterred. Instead, he fed off the crowd’s appreciation of his gusto to keep hitting from the tee to find the putting surface with his fourth tee shot en route to 9.
Looking at the worst score by any player on all of the holes at TPC Sawgrass, the worst-ball score is 119. It’s tough out there.