PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The lakes that dot TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course are filled with all manner of golf equipment, some deposited intentionally and some not.
Included on that lengthy list will not be Michael Bradley's driver, which bounced into a pond adjacent the seventh tee box on Friday following Bradley's tee shot, thanks to Jacksonville resident Norman-Gerard Merizzi.
“I just hit a poor drive and kind of dropped the club, because I was so disgusted. I didn’t really realize how close I was to the water. When I dropped the club, it kind of bounded and I’m watching it and I’m going, ‘Oh, crap, what did I do?’” Bradley said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, what did you just do?’ But I had a nice gentleman get down there and we helped him out and he got it.”
Merizzi fished the club out of the pond by stepping down a steep bank and using Louis Oosthuizen's driver with the British Open champion holding his arm so he didn’t fall into the water.
Initially, Oosthuizen tried to retrieve the club, with Bradley holding his feet, but Merizzi offered to go after it.
“Angel (Cabrera) was trying to get it but I told them to let me do it,' Merizzi said. “I just thought he got distracted and the club came flying out of his hands.”
Marshalls had just spotted a snake in the pond but Merizzi didn’t want any of the players to get hurt.
“He was going to kill himself (trying to get the club).' Merizzi said.
Bradley made a triple bogey-7 on the hole and missed the cut.
“It’s a great driver, I like it. When I put a good swing on it, it goes great. You put a bad swing on it, it doesn’t matter what club it is, it’s going to go bad,” Bradley said of the TaylorMade r11 driver he put in play this year at Pebble Beach.