And no one felt its sting worse than Bob Tway, the former PGA champion who set the all-time record for futility, taking a 9-over 12 on the devilish 17th hole after dumping four balls in the water. View Tway's Scorecard
Youre playing great in the tournament and all of a sudden, in one hole, you might as well be finishing last, a somber Tway said Monday.
His score erased the mark of Robert Gamez, who took an 11 on the hole during The Players Championship in 1990.
I didnt think anybody would break it, Gamez said. Eleven is a pretty big number.
Tway was tied for 10th stepping to the 17th tee Monday morning and thought he struck a decent iron to the green, but a gust carried it into the water. At the drop area, 77 yards from the cup, things got worse.
Tway again went over the green. His next two shots came up short, and he finally hit the back side of the green, 40 feet away. He three-putted for a 12.
I think I played the hole 4, 4, 6 and 12, he said. I dont know what that adds up to, but I think thats quite a few.
After finishing at No. 18, Tway sat alone at the end of his golf bag, hands covering his face. Scott Verplank, a fellow Oklahoman and one of Tways good friends, patted his buddy to boost his spirits.
Tway was far from No. 17s only victim.
Phil Mickelson put two shots in the water during the third round for a quadruple bogey, then dumped another one in during the final round for a double bogey.
Sergio Garcia went over the green on his first shot, then short after the drop to take a triple bogey.
Tiger Woods couldnt escape trouble either. His shoulders slumped as his ball sailed over the green for a saddening splash.
Woods loves the hole, he just wishes it werent in such a critical location.
Ive always said, 17 is a great hole if it was No. 8, not No. 17, he said. I dont think a hole like that should decide a tournament.
The wind was a major factor. Morning gusts blew to 35 mph, keeping players guessing what clubs to choose.
Vijay Singh, a resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, was asked what he normally does in these conditions.
When its this breezy, we dont even go out, not even to the range, he said.
It wasnt so long ago, Dye says, when PGA Tour pros hated his creation and the havoc it caused. Only recently, he said this week, have the players not snarled as they go by.
If Dye were around at the end of this one, he might have heard those old, familiar grumbles. Tway shrugs his shoulders. Theres not much to say after a hole like that.
Its a shame that it happens, that you play that well for that long, he said. But everyones got to play it.
GETTING INTO AUGUSTA
Joe Ogilvie and Tom Lehman are heading to Augusta National.
Ogilvie was ninth on the PGA Tour money list after The Players Championship, while Lehmans tie for second at TPC Sawgrass left him right behind in 10th, qualifying both for The Masters in two weeks.
Ogilvie finished 1-over at The Players, 10 shots behind champ Fred Funk. But that was still good enough to leave him at $1,223,855. When Ogilvie finished his round, he wasnt sure what his status was as far as going to for the green jacket.
If I get it, itll be great, Ogilvie said as he signed autographs.
Dont worry, Joe. Youre in. It will be the first time down Magnolia Lane for Ogilvie, wholl turn 31 on the Friday of Masters week.
For Lehman, its a return to Augusta after missing last year. Lehman cemented his entry by tying for second, the prize money of $597,333.33 bringing him to $1,211,560 -- $2,030 ahead of 11th place Kenny Perry.
Im looking forward to getting back there, Lehman said.
Calm down Atlanta golf fans and BellSouth Classic organizers, Phil Mickelson says hes coming.
With a bright, sunny day, Mickelson was able to finish The Players Championship on Monday. That means he can get in his practice for the Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday and arrive at TPC Sugarloaf in time for Wednesdays pro-am.
With five weather delays this weekend and nearly two rounds of golf left to play, the defending Masters champion thought hed have to break his commitment to the BellSouths pro-am.
PGA Tour rules are clear'no pro-am without an excused absence, no tournament.
Mickelsons schedule cleared up once the weather did at TPC Sawgrass.
Now that we got it in today, Ill go to Augusta, play tomorrow and should make it to Atlanta in time for Wednesday, Mickelson said.
You couldnt tell the leaders without a scoreboard'at least on the 18th hole of The Players Championship.
Things were so windy Monday morning on the 18th hole that tournament personnel took down the names and numbers from the large, white hand-operated scoreboard from behind the green. Lee Westwoods name literally blew off the leaderboard and nearly went into the lake before a worker chased it down.
Winds gusting up to 35 mph swept over the Stadium Course early on and breeze continued blowing strongly throughout the final round.
Lee Westwoods morning was one to forget. Once tied for the lead, Westwood had a stretch from the 14th to 18th holes of bogey, bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey, bogey. He shot a third round of 80. ... Thomas Bjorn withdrew during Mondays restarted third round. Brent Geiberger also pulled out after shooting a 78 in the third round and continuing his troubles in the final round with two bogeys and a double bogey. He left the last round after five holes.
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