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Golf Australia Express : Issue 36
BIRDIES, BALLS IN the water and bogeys (or worse). Whatever your poison, it all happens at the 17th at Sawgrass. The Island Green is pure entertainment and that’s why we love it. Over the years the flick wedge par-3 has earned itself a rep as one of golf’s most feared holes. But stats from last week’s Players show the little beast might be losing its teeth. During the latest stoush, the game’s elite carded 88 birdies at the penultimate hole. That’s 22 more Larry Birds than the average over the past nine seasons. Just 40 balls (from 35 players) splashed into the lake last week—that’s nine less pills than the average. And just 72 scores of bogey or worse were recorded there this year. That’s 10 less than the average between 2003-11. But though TPC Sawgrass’ 17th went from a nine- year ranking as the 6th toughest hole on course to the 11th—which makes it the 8th easiest for the glass- half-fullers—not everyone found it a snack. Argentine Angel Cabrera was left the hungriest at 17 this year. The 2007 US Open and 2009 Masters champ made a major blunder at the wee par-3, drowning three shots en route to a nine in Round 1. Others to miss “the green you just don’t want to miss” included Rory McIlroy, K.J Choi, Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson and even event winner Matt Kuchar, who chunked one in the water in Round 3. We won’t know for another 12 months whether the Island Green will grow another set of teeth. But for now it gets our Missing in Action gong for this week. OTG Island Green THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE... STAT THE Year Ave Score Birdies Bogey or Worse Water Balls 2012 3.045 88 72 40 2003-11 3.145 66 82 49 Missing In Action: The average number of shots taken to finish the hole WHAT IT MEANS: STAT: Hole Stroke Average