Island fever

May 7, 2008

17_200 I played the famous island 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass a couple of years ago and lived to tell about it. Standing on the tee box, with a pitching wedge, I swung with all my might and splashed my ball into the drink. Undeterred (and refusing to walk to the shorter drop area) I teed up another rock, swung that same pitching wedge, and found terra firma, some 25 feet below the pin. Know what happened next? I traversed the walkway, studied my line and buried the putt for a satisfying bogey. From Fred Couples’s ace, to Tiger Woods’s miracle putt, to Len Mattiace’s disaster, the 17th hole of the Players Championship has seen it all. Here are two stories from the pages of The New York Times, the first by Bill Pennington on the difficulty playing the hole, the second by yours truly on last year’s caddie tournament on No. 17. 
(Photo: Fred Vuich/SI)