Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

17th at Sawgrass — gimmick or greatest finish in golf?


Tiger Woods and Adam Scott have described it as gimmicky. Phil Mickelson believes it is the midway point in golf’s most exciting finish but former British Open champion Mark¬†Calcavecchia says it has the same effect as a nervous wait for a nasty dental appointment.

It is the infamous par-three 17th at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, the signature hole on the Stadium Course which will host the Players Championship this week for the 28th time.

Sergio Garcia of Spain and his caddie walk from the island green on the 17th hole during first round play of The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra

Arguably more photographed than any other hole in golf, the 17th strikes fear into the heart of every competitor at the tournament regarded by the players as the unofficial fifth major.

Although the smallest hole on the par-72 Stadium layout, it unquestionably boasts the biggest reputation with its tantalising island green that narrows to the right side.