Tommy Fleetwood makes fine start to the Players Championship

Tanya Simon
March 17, 2019

It is just the ninth hole-in-one on Pete and Alice Dye's penultimate hole on the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in the PGA Tour event's history, and the first since Sergio Garcia's ace in 2017.

Ryan Moore dunked his ball straight into the hole for a dramatic hole-in-one.

The world's top 50 golfers, winners on the PGA Tour during the past year and the top 125 on the previous season's FedEx Cup point list are among those who qualify. Fred Couples, Hal Sutton, Steve Elkington and Davis Love III obviously aren't here this week but there is one competitor in the field this week with a chance to join The Golden Bear and I bet you know who it is. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.

Only Phil Mickelson and Bob Tway (nine) have come close to Baddeley's record.

According to the PGA, scoring averages for the Players Championship in March are almost one stroke higher over May. Tway also holds the dubious distinction of carding the highest score at 17, taking a 12 in 2005.

Marc Leishman (71) was next best of the Australians at one under, while countryman Cameron Smith (72) was a shot further back at even par.

It's not as though the Northern Irishman's record at The Players had been wanting - his resume includes three consecutive top-10 finishes beginning in 2013 - but the over-seeded golf course that players face this year as a result of the event's shift to March from May are custom made for McIlroy.

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Florida State only forced eight turnovers, but it made things hard for the Cavaliers to get into a rhythm all night long. It's at least formidable enough for this to be a serious discussion, given that seeding isn't done in a vacuum.

All the players are going to have deal with the notoriously tricky TPC Sawgrass course, including the iconic 17th hole, known as the Island Green, which claims dozens of balls each year to the water. "You have to hit the ball well, have a good mental game and have some good luck to beat these guys", he said.

Tiger won last year's Tour Championship for his 80th PGA Tour title.

He also has some good memories from the hole, however.

"I felt like a few times I played well around here, it's just I couldn't ever get anything going".

"My caddie ran over, he kind of reacted to it like he thought it went in right away and I wasn't necessarily sure", Moore said.

"It's an all-or-nothing type shot".

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