Brooks Koepka’s record on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass started awfully, hasn’t improved

Brooks Koepka’s record on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass started awfully, hasn’t improved
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They say a player starts thinking about playing the par-3 17th on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass before he begins his round. You can see them leering to their right as they play the par-5 16th, knowing – or, rather, not knowing  – what awaits.

The Players Championship is still weeks away, but Brooks Koepka had to consider the devilish island hole when he was asked on Thursday, if the tee shot at No. 17 is the scariest, what is the second scariest shot in golf?

“The drop zone from 17, because I’ve been there a lot,” he responded. “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve played that hole – if they throw that stat up, who’s played it the worst over the last five years, it’s probably me. Yeah, I haven’t played that hole very well.”

Full-field scores from The Honda Classic

Koepka wasn’t exaggerating. He has competed in The Players Championship on five occasions and played the 137-yard 17th in 15 over par.

During his 2015 debut, he hit two balls into the water in Round 1: one from the tee box, one from the drop zone. He had another water ball in Round 3 in 2016; another in Round 1 in ’17; two more in Round 2 in ’18; and one in the final round in ’19.

For the record, Koepka has 7 water balls, two quadruple bogeys, one triple bogey and two double bogeys – along with two birdies and two bogeys. He’s never NOT played a Players without at least one penalty shot on No. 17.

He did make par on the hole in his most recent attempt, during Round 1 in 2020. The tournament was canceled thereafter because of the coronavirus pandemic. Koepka didn’t play last year while recovering from a knee injury.

Now healthy, Koepka navigated his way around PGA National in 2-under-par 68 in Round 1 of the Honda Classic, playing the two par 3s in the Bear Trap, Nos. 15 and 17, in 1 under. He’s four off the early lead.

“Yeah, I didn’t do anything to really deserve to be 4 or 5 under. That’s a great score here,” he said. “Just kind of ho-hummed it around, and like I said, didn’t really deserve anything worse, didn’t deserve anything better.”

Brooks Koepka's record on No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass started awfully, hasn't improved 2

Source: GolfChannel

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