With just water in front of its postage-stamp-sized Island Green, No. 17 has made and broken champions at The Players, amid rumbles the hole is more gimmick than greatness. Playing too much club cost Sean O’Hair the tournament title and more than $700,000 in 2007. Playing not enough club in 2013 led Sergio Garcia to a title-killing 7 on the hole and made Tiger Woods, his hated rival, the champion.
Read more at: http://nesn.com/2015/05/why-no-17-at-tpc-sawgrass-is-most-intimidating-hole-in-golf-videos/
The island-green 17th at the Stadium Course of TPC Sawgrass usually generates all the buzz and screen time at the Players Championship, but it is the finishing hole that TOUR players primarily sweat about. A good score on 17 is mostly about luck and the right club selection. At the 447-yard 18th
the players have to avoid the water twice, on the tee shot and on the approach.
"From the tee, you don't see a lot of fairway, what you see is water," says 2005 Players Championship winner Fred Funk. The fairway starts out wide and then narrows up as the hole bends to the left. If you want to play it safe, you may wind up under the trees on the right.
The second shot isn't easy either because the green is so severe. It is usually downwind off the left and the green pitches from right to left. When the Sunday pin placement is tucked in the back left, there is water all the way up the left side. "You have to hit two really good golf shots to give yourself a look at birdie or at least make four a little easier" explains Rickie Fowler, who won this prestigious tournament in 2015.
According to statistics the 18th green is the most-difficult to hit in regulation at TPC Sawgrass. Since 2003, only 44.6 players have been successful in reaching the green in two.
The 18th green, however, isn’t just tough to hit. It´s a challenge to save Par on this hole when you miss the green. Less than 50% of the players have done so since 2003, making it the hardest hole to get up-and-down on. Players have scored a combined 1,7-over par on the home hole since these statistics were recorded.
This hole magnifies mistakes and exposes any weakness a player has with alarming clarity. One yard left or long or short could be the difference between a birdie and a double-bogey. It is ranked among the 15 toughest closing holes on TOUR.