The Island Green doesn't seem like that tough of a shot -- only about a buck-thirty, depending on pin placement -- but whether because of gimmickry, tension or plain old hype, it's become one of golf's best-known holes. And on Thursday, it was a pussycat, lying down for 91 percent of the field.
Only seven players found the water, most notably Greg Owen, who dunked two. Other swimmers included Paul Casey and David Toms. But almost everyone got on and got off in a hurry; the 91 percent green-in-regulation figure is the highest at the 17th since the Tour started tracking the statistic in 1992. The worst first round for golfers? In 2005 when 50 balls went into the water on Thursday. (That was a storm-filled Players that didn't finish until Monday.)
Alex Prugh was one guy who didn't have a whole lot of trouble on 17, birdieing it in his first-ever competitive round at TPC Sawgrass. His 10-footer marked his first live birdie, but not his first one ever -- "I've birdied every time I've played before this, basically on Tiger Woods Golf," he laughed. "So, you know, I set my standards high." Prugh's the second player, after Rory McIlroy last year, to reference Sawgrass in terms of its video-game counterpart. We can look forward to a day when new young golfers stand at the Island Green at Sawgrass or the 7th at Pebble Beach, yawn, and say, "eagled it."
As the weekend approaches, let's take a quick look back at some of the most memorable Island moments, courtesy of PGATour.com: