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Devil Ball Golf

One hole, two results; a look at the difference between Sergio’s Players in ’08 and ’13

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

Back in 2008, Sergio Garcia found himself in a playoff with Paul Goydos at the Players Championship on a windy day at TPC Sawgrass. Garcia had shot a gutsy 1-under 71 on Sunday while Goydos could only muster a round of 74 as the two headed to the famous par-3 17th to begin the sudden-death playoff.

Goydos was first to hit, and as the ball left his club the wind picked up, ballooning his ball into the water on the most famous golf hole in the world. It seemed like it was over for Goydos, but Garcia still had to hit a good shot in tough conditions to secure the biggest win of his career.

Here is what Sergio did in '08 when the pressure was on:

Garcia knew he only needed a par to win that playoff against Goydos, and he took the proper precaution. He took the safe side of that tucked pin on the 17th, allowing the slope to improve his golf shot as it ended up just a couple of feet from the cup.

So why take dead aim this Sunday at the Players, tied with Tiger Woods who still had to play the tough 18th hole? Sergio explains what happened on Sunday right here.

"Yeah, I just under‑hit it a little bit. I felt with a little bit of adrenaline and stuff I didn't want to shoot over the green with a wedge. Just needed to hit it a little bit harder, maybe a little too confident. I felt so uncomfortable throughout the whole‑‑ throughout most of the weekend, and then all of a sudden I started hitting good shots and I felt like I was back feeling good. If I would have hit it a bit farther left it would have been fine."

Sergio didn't exactly say what it seemed he wanted to say, but maybe Garcia just wanted to end the tournament right there? Take dead aim, pull the golf shot off and you have yourself a good look at birdie and a chance to get to 14-under with one hole to play.

Maybe Sergio pushed it a bit, and maybe he didn't catch it all, but it seemed that in 2013 he was trying to knock down a flagstick that leaves you little room for error unlike in '08, when he knew where to miss it and still land a solid result.

The 17th giveth and the 17th taketh away.

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