No 17 flexes its muscle

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The island-green 17th hole at the Players Stadium course flexed its muscle today, yielding just 11 birdies from the two flights that played the course.

In the Snead flight, only one of 58 players managed a birdie while 42 players recorded a double-bogey or worse. It played as the fifth most difficult hole of the day.

The dastardly one-shotter was kinder to the Palmer flight, which recorded 10 birdies from 58 competitors. It played as the sixth-easiest hole of the day.

The most compelling story from No. 17 came from the day’s first group in the Palmer flight. After teeing off on No. 10, Mel Yates of Texhoma, Texas, Gene Johnson of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. and Mike Fair of Tucson, Ariz. each made birdie. Despite the group’s success at that hole, however, they combined to record a mere two birdies the rest of the day.