PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The Year of Sergio Garcia continued on Thursday at The Players Championship when the reigning Masters champion made an ace on the island-green par-3 17th on The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Garcia, playing alongside fellow former Players winners Matt Kuchar and Adam Scott, hit his tee shot just past the front-right hole location, spinning it back into the hole for an ace that sent the crowd around the 17th into a tizzy.
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“It was a solid 52-degree (wedge) for me,” said Garcia who played the final three holes in 3 under to shoot 1-over 73.
“I mean, I hit a good shot, but it can go there, it can go three yards past. I don’t know, it can do anything. It was nice to see it bounce and kind of spin back into the hole. Maybe because I needed it after the start I had. It kind of made quite a poor round into — not a great round but a decent round.”
On the hole behind, the par-5 16th, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas stopped to take in the scene. As Garcia was walking toward the green to retrieve his ball, he looked toward the trio and raised a finger to let them know he had made an ace — the 12th in his life.
The hole-in-one is the eighth in PGA Tour history on the 17th, following the first-round ace made last year by Willy Wilcox in the second round.