Each year, the PGA Tour estimates some 100,000 golf balls find their way into the water surrounding the green at the 17th at TPC Sawgrass. It works out to a couple of balls per golfer.
The pros competing in The Players Championship contribute very little to that tally. On Thursday, however, there were more balls than normal in the water at Pete Dye's diabolical little par 3. All told, 21 balls found the water in Round 1, including a pair from Brooks Koepka, who made quadruple-bogey 7 on the hole as part of an ugly 8-over, two-hole stretch.
That tally of 21 is tied for fourth for the most balls in the water at No. 17 in a Players Championship round since 2003. The highest one-day total in that stretch was 50 balls in Round 1 of the 2007 Players, the first year the event moved to May.
A day later, 16 balls found the water at No. 17, bringing the total to 37 through two rounds.
Here's a look at the 10 highest single-round numbers of balls in the water at 17 since 2003:
2007 - Round 1: 50
2005 - Round 4: 28
2005 - Round 3: 25
2007 - Round 1: 21
2015 - Round 1: 21
2008 - Round 1: 20
2006 - Round 1: 19
2012 - Round 1: 18
2006 - Round 2: 17
2009 - Round 1: 16
2015 - Round 2: 16
Overall, that means, most days, the water isn't much of a factor. The PGA Tour put together a graphic showing the trail of every shot into 17 on Thursday, and it's a good demonstration of the many different ways the players approach a 123-yard shot.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 7, 2015
JOIN GNN PLUS AS AN ANNUAL MEMBER & YOU'LL GET:
- A FREE USGA handicap ($30 value, annual members only)
- Entry into member-only giveaways
- Special discounts and member benefits
- An ad-free experience
- Equipment testing data
- Exclusive fantasy golf and betting research