Returning to a Mother’s Day finish in 2017, the strongest field in golf will put their collective talents to the test in what is quite simply the purest test in all of golf, THE PLAYERS Championship. The PGA TOUR’s flagship event since its initiation in 1974, it takes skill and nerve, performing right at the top of your game, and the ball to fall just right with sprinkles of luck throughout your four rounds to win THE PLAYERS Championship.
Indeed, just ask any of the 36 winners to claim victory around this hallowed turf – a sense of destiny needs to be embraced, the skewed drive that bounces right rather than left and ends up in a good lie often helps too (see: Craig Perks, 2002).
However, when all is said and done, the majestic TPC Sawgrass is as brutal as it is beautiful. Newly-renovated for 2017, with resurfaced greens, contour changes and significant upgrades to holes 6, 7 and 12, every aspect of a player’s game will be tested.
“I hit the button”, remarked 2015 winner Rickie Fowler after a 9-iron shot on the 13th set him up for birdie. Fowler was five shots back with six left to play, and was dead and buried. Birdie-par-birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie soon followed and one of the most dramatic comebacks in PLAYERS history became a reality.
Finding your groove and getting hot at the right time can make or break your week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. Sure, there have been some exceptional obliterations of the field, with kudos going to this year’s wire-to-wire champion Jason Day, or Greg Norman’s decimation of the field in 1994.
Calvin Peete’s record-breaking eight birdies on his way to a final round 66 in 1985, Craig Perks’ 2002 three-shot stretch on 16, 17 and 18 that will probably go down as one of the greatest in golf history, or a moment of sheer brilliance on 17 from Jodie Mudd in 1990 that brought him the biggest win of his career.
Here, timing is everything.
The Purest Test in Golf
Three-and-a-half days of pitch-perfect golf can be undone at the drop of a hat. Even the best golfers in the world are not adverse to it. Described as the purest test in golf as it attempts to break down their psyche, the three-hole finish at TPC Sawgrass encapsulates that to its fullest.
The Island Green on 17 is one of the most recognizable holes in all of golf, but also one of its deadliest, just ask Len Mattiace who saw his hopes go up in smoke when taking an 8 here in 1998, trailing the leaders by just one stroke.
A sense of fear is instilled. With adrenaline pumping and the wind behind you swirling, it can belittle even the game’s best. The science behind 17, and indeed 16 and 18, is the mental challenge it sets.
On 16, the momentum changes. Arguably the toughest of the three, 18 is one of the most difficult closing holes there is. Left and you’re in the water, play it safe right and you’ve a mountain to climb to make par, with the drink still looming large.
Once described by 2014 runner-up Jim Furyk as “a volatile three holes,” there are no places to hide in the purest test in golf at TPC Sawgrass.
Witness THE PLAYERS Championship in 2017
Witness the magic of THE PLAYERS Championship, as the best field in golf take on THE PGA TOUR’s most anticipated tournament in hope of claiming its most coveted title.
With THE PLAYERS Experiences, enjoy unprecedented on-site access you simply cannot get anywhere else. Watch on as the world’s best battle it out. By selecting THE PLAYERS Club, choose your access to the practice and tournament rounds of your choice. You will also be granted private access to the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, with private suites overlooking the 18th green and signature 17th! Our Hospitality House provides exquisite views of the par-5 16th, and the Island Green on 17, while week-long access is available through The Turn, our 18th fairway hospitality venue.