The fearsome 17th at TPC Sawgrass was conquered on the opening morning of the Players Championship as Hayden Buckley made a rare hole-in-one in the PGA Tour’s flagship event.
Measuring just 125 yards for the first round, Buckley’s group was just the second of the day to tackle the iconic par three test, and his playing partner Taylor Montgomery came unstuck as he found the water just before him.
Buckley was undeterred though, and hit a nice shot beyond the flag that dug his toes in to stop dead, before hitting reverse and starting to roll down the slope.
It’s a pretty welcoming pin position on Thursday with a nice bank just behind the hole for those accurate enough to find it, but with a front flag anything short will likely get wet.
Buckley was already having a decent front nine as he was one-under after seven holes, but moved to the top of the very early leaderboard on three-under after that memorable ace on 17.
It’s just the 11th hole-in-one on the 17th in Players Championship history and the second year running someone has made an ace, with Shane Lowry doing the business last year.
And as Buckley raced away throwing his cap into the air in celebration, he may not be the only one with relatively benign conditions to start the Players Championship and a kind hole placement meaning there are ideal conditions for others to stick it close on 17.