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May 16 2016

Will Wilcox had hole in one on Sawgrass's iconic 17th hole with a yellow ball? Really? Who uses a yellow ball except for that 15-handicapper who goes in his bag and doesn't want to lose one of his Pro V1s in the water, so he pulls out the yellow ball he found in the bush a year ago.

Yup, that's going to look good on the trophy shelf.

Wilcox's hole in one was one of the highlights at a brutally tough The Players Championship.

With our two favourite golfers to follow, Rideau View member Brad Fritsh and world No. 5 Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls not in action this weekend, we didn't have a bad alternative in The Players.

Quick updates: Fritsch withdrew from the Tour's Rex Hospital Open with a painful foot, the same condition which caused him to miss a start earlier this season (despite not playing, Fritsch remained second on the Tour's money list; Top 25 get their PGA TOUR cards for 2016-17).

The LPGA Tour had a week off before the schedule resumes this week with the Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC. It will kick off a run of nine weeks in a row for Henderson.

With Fritsch and Henderson off, it was left to The Players Championship to amuse and it didn't disappoint. Honestly, you could just watch the 17th hole at Sawgrass and see a month's worth of drama in a few hours.

After world No. 1 Jason Day won of the seventh time in his last 17 starts, the highlight for me was Will Wilcox's hole in one on the iconic par-3 17th hole on Friday.

It was the first hole in one there since 2002, 6,300 shots ago (that one was by Miguel Angel Jimenez, so you know drinks were purchased) and the great thing about it was he actually reacted to it.

How many times do you see PGA TOUR players hole out and it's like, "Yeah, I expected to do that." C'mon. Yes, we know you're trying to do it, but when it happens it's still pretty cool.

Wilcox jumped into the arms of caddie Mike Middlemo, exchanged high fives and got shaken in a bear hug by fellow competitor Cameron Triangle.

"I've seen so many TOUR players make hole-in-ones and hole shots and they're like - nothing," Wilcox told "Like, what's wrong with you? So especially in that situation, I just get pumped up."

A couple of observations on the Wilcox's ace:

It might have been one of the worst looking swings in the history of PGA TOUR aces. Honestly. He hit a wedge with a big head dip and a cut off follow through. It looked like one of the many of the thousands of 15 handicappers who tee it up there every year.

But you can't argue results.

The celebration was awesome. He jumped into Middelmo's arms and actually connected on a couple of high fives, which puts him way ahead of Tiger Woods. He didn't want the 1990s to feel left out, so he gave the "raise the roof" gesture on his walk to the green.


Wilcox bought the media drinks in the media centre afterwards.

Class act.

I liked this post-round comment, too: "I came in 15th in New Orleans and I acted like I just won the Masters," Wilcox said. "If I come in 38th here, then I'm going to party on Sunday night. I just enjoy everything that happens to me out here."

Wilcox shot 82 on Saturday in the ridiculously tough conditions (the scoring average was 75.59; 24 players shot 78 or higher) and he wound up T72.

Here's guessing he still partied Sunday night.

At the other end of the 17th spectrum was Russell Knox. He was in contention on Saturday until he hit three balls in the water and made a nine (I thought it was a bit of piling on by NBC when they used their shot tracer technology to show all three balls getting wet).

He hit three from the tee (not as in three strokes, but three balls, with the second one a shank, almost hitting the cameraman on the island in the middle of the lake) ) until he moved to the drop zone and finally plopped one in the middle of the green and the crowd started to cheer.

He raised his club and then his fist with a smile on his face. The 30-year-old Scotsman lost three balls, but he gained a lot of fans (and Twitter followers) with the way he handled the disaster.

One guy made a 1 and another guy made a 9 and they both handled it just right.

STAT OF THE WEEK: The PGA TOUR had the course setup get away from them on Saturday when a bad weather forecast didn't predict the winds combined with a hot sun. The greens, which were running at 14 on the Stimpmeter after the rain-delayed second round concluded early on Saturday, became borderline unplayable.

There were 149 three putts on Saturday, the most in any round in Players Championship history.

LINE OF THE WEEK: Middlemo, after the 150-pound Wilcox jumped into his arms: "I'm lucky it wasn't Kevin Stadler."






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