PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Reviews were mixed as players arrived on Monday at TPC Sawgrass, where the combination of a cold and wet winter and the “misapplication” of a product designed to combat the wintery conditions has resulted in less-than-ideal conditions on some of the greens.
Nos. 4, 11 and 12 were closed on Monday and will be closed again on Tuesday to all practice rounds as officials scramble to improve the condition of the putting surfaces before Thursday’s opening round at the circuit’s flagship event.
The Tour closed the Stadium Course on April 14 and warm and sunny conditions the last few days have sped the recovery. Most players who were onsite Monday said the greens were better than they expected.
“I don’t think it will have a huge impact on the competition,” said Steve Stricker following a practice round on Monday. “Cosmetically, they don’t look the best in some areas but there is plenty of room to put a good pin location.”
Matt Every, who lives near TPC Sawgrass and plays the course regularly, said, “They are not that bad.”
The green on the par-5 11th hole was the most severely damaged of the putting surfaces, with a large portion of the back of the green recently re-sodded which will likely keep officials from using the traditional back right hole location.
Although Tour officials have declined to reveal what the “product” was that damaged the greens, multiple sources told GolfChannel.com that it was Primo Maxx, a plant growth regulator that aids in root development.
According to sources, the agronomy staff used the regulator on half of a practice putting green on the “player’s” portion of the range and not the other half. The half with the Primo Maxx was damaged while the other half without was not.