A series of golf video games back in the day led countless players to both fear and revere the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, with its island green, as the most iconic hole in golf.
And the guy whose name was on the box for those games just had a monumental moment of frustration like one of those gamers throwing his controller out the window.
Tiger Woods was at 5 under par at Sawgrass, where he’s competing in The Players Championship, golf’s so-called fifth major, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, when he ran into the boss fight, and … well, see for yourself:
Golf is hard.
Tiger Woods puts two in the water on No. 17. ? pic.twitter.com/xEqCMx04Z0
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 15, 2019
Tiger splashed a pair of shots, and that means something different in golf from what it means in basketball.
When Woods finally got a shot onto the green, he’d accumulated enough penalty strokes that he carded a quadruple-bogey 7 — three for shots he actually hit in the course of getting the ball in the hole and four for the two errant tee shots.
And just like that, Tiger went from 5 under par and rising up the early leaderboard to 1 under going into the 18th hole.
Woods managed to finish at 2 under, but Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley both shot 7 under to lead the event through the first round.
If not for that disaster at 17, Tiger would have started Friday one shot off the lead instead of two strokes better than the cut line.
He had an insane ride where he was feast-or-famine, making just one par on the back nine.
Tiger, playing in his first event since a neck injury kept him out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, talked about his round.
“I felt like I could have got something in the 60s today and got off to not actually the best of starts today,” Woods said.
“I hit some bad shots early, rectified that, made a few adjustments, and then went about my business, and then the back nine, there’s nine holes on the back nine, made one par, so that was interesting.
“Usually if I had one par it’s usually shooting 30 or 29, not what I did today.”
He has won 80 tournaments overall and 14 majors, but recently he’s been just trying to get the most out of his 43-year-old body, struggling with injuries and personal issues.
Woods had no three-putts in the tournament, but at the same time, he missed putts from 4, 8, 9, 10 and 11 feet out, the kind of putts that embody the adage “drive for show, putt for dough.”
You get the feeling that Video Game Tiger not only wouldn’t have splashed those shots on 17 but would have made the putts as well, shot a 10-under 62, and left the field in his dust by the weekend.
But these are not the early aughts. For Tiger Woods, age comes with a refreshing beverage greenside — one into which he hit the golf ball a couple of times.
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