Viktor Hovland may just be the luckiest man at TPC Sawgrass this week after getting a huge slice of fortune and the most unlikely par on the iconic 17th hole.
The Norwegian was short with his tee shot towards the island green, but when it looked for all the world like his ball would be getting wet, he got a massive helping hand from the wooden sleepers.
Instead of a big splash, we heard a huge thump of golf ball on wood and the ball then looped up into the air, landed on the dance floor, and somehow stayed dry.
From there, Hovland took full advantage by playing a nice chip and sinking the putt for a three that looked nowhere near achievable as his tee shot headed towards the water.
It was a crucial stroke of luck to keep Hovland’s momentum going too, as he’d just rattled off three straight birdies at 14, 15 and 16 to move to four-under for his second round at the Players Championship and seven-under for the tournament.
It’s not the first close encounter with the sleepers at TPC Sawgrass for Hovland, as he had to perform a balancing act on the 16th during his first round on Thursday after his approach also toyed with the water.
Again, he was spared as his ball nestled right on the edge in the collar of rough, but he had to play like a tightrope walker to balance right in the precipice before aiming a putt towards the hole.
The 25-year-old managed to card a birdie four on the 16th from that escape, but his one on 17 on day two, although just for a par, was even more miraculous – and if he goes on to win the Players Championship he I’ll look back on these moments as pivotal.