PGA Tour golfer's missed putt somehow ends up in the water
Every once in awhile, you see a pro golfer on TV make the kind of shot that would make even a weekend duffer on the Sunday links cringe.
It makes us all feel better at the sight of our own weak amateur game when the pros screw up.
But putting the ball into a water hazard? That’s a bit much even for the worst of us who struggle to break 100.
Yet that’s exactly what happened to Ollie Schniederjans at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Thursday.
Hey, it can happen to anyone.#QuickHits pic.twitter.com/x4lL04oBFx
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 1, 2018
The crazy part is just how well Schniederjans had been playing up to that point.
He was 4 under par. That putt was for eagle on the par-4 17th hole after Schniederjans drove the green; it would’ve dropped him to 6 under. Bill Haas was the clubhouse leader after the first day of action with a 7-under 64.
As it stood, Schniederjans finished the first day at 3 under with a 68 on the par-71 TPC Scottsdale course.
The putt itself was right out of Happy Gilmore, one of those “400-yard drive and 400-yard putt” kinds of overshots of the hole, as Schniederjans badly underestimated the speed of the green and overestimated how far the ball would break toward the hole.
Credit goes to the course designer on this one. By putting the pin where it was, the tournament officials strongly discouraged exactly the kind of aggressive shot that left the ball where it was on that eagle putt to begin with.
If you look at the way the area around the green is designed, that water hazard starts at the front edge of the green. There is plenty of room on the fairway in front of the manmade hill for wise players to lay up, chip onto the green and grab a relatively (for professionals, anyway) easy birdie.
Try to attack the hole directly and you’re in the water. Try to hit the green to the right, you have that downhill monstrosity of a putt that Schniederjans put into the drink.
Miss your tee shot long or left, you’re shaking hands with Colonel Bogey and whistling his march on your way to the 18th hole.
And, of course, hit your putt into the drink and you’re treated to a similar fate when you have to try again and find a better way to two-putt that placement.
Schniederjans learned his lesson, though; in the second round of the tournament on Friday, he came away from the 17th hole with a birdie.
Last year, 17 under was good enough to force a playoff to win the tournament; this year, it’s looking through part of the second round like an even better score may be required.
And with Rickie Fowler, who was tied for second after Thursday’s action, yet to tee off as this goes to press, we may see an even more prohibitive score established as the one to beat come Sunday when the final round serves as an appetizer for the Super Bowl.
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