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There aren’t many holes on the PGA Tour circuit that are recognizable by everyone from the die-hard golf fan to your friend who only tunes in to watch the final few holes on Sunday. The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course is one of them.

The signature hole at the Players Championship, which is famous for its island green, is one of the best golf holes in the world because of how much it can swing momentum on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not a long par 3 at just 137 yards, but the swirling winds and tiny green make it the most nerve-racking tee shot on the golf course.

We’ve seen aces and heroic birdies at 17 over the year, but we’ve also seen implosions and multiple balls hit in the water by some of the best players in the world. So, what is the highest score ever recorded on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass?

What is the highest score ever recorded on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass?

The 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass has produced countless memorable highlights over the years. Some of them are positive — such as Rickie Fowler stuffing it close three times on Sunday to close out his 2015 victory, Shane Lowry’s electric hole-in-one in 2022, and Tiger Woods’ “better than most” putt in 2001.

Most of them, though, involve the water surrounding the island green.

We’ve seen players plunk multiple balls in the water in consecutive tries, and those blow-ups have led to some embarrassingly high scores. But what’s the highest?

In 2005, Bob Tway set the record by recording a 9-over 12 in the third round of the Players Championship. Tway hit his tee shot over the green and in the drink, then proceeded to dunk three more balls in the water from the drop zone. He finally hit the green with his ninth shot and three-putted for a 12.


Two players, Byeong Hun An (2022) and Robert Gamez (1990), nearly matched Tway with a score of 11, but only four players in the history of the Players Championship have written down a score in the double digits.

Here are some of the highest scores ever recorded on 17:

  • Bob Tway – 12, Round 3, 2005
  • Byeong Hun An – 11, Round 1, 2021
  • Robert Gamez – 11, Round 3, 1990
  • Phil Blackmar – 10, Round 2, 1990
  • Rex Caldwell – 9, Round 2, 1983
  • Roger Maltbie – 9, Round 2, 1990
  • Angel Cabrera – 9, Round 1, 2012
  • Russell Knox – 9, Round 3, 2016
  • Zac Blair – 9, Round 2, 2017

1 amateur plunked 27 balls in the water on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass

A view of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.
A general view of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course during the Players Championship | Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

A 9-over 12 is a demoralizing score to make on a par 3, but it has nothing on Angelo Spagnolo’s 66.

That’s right, Spagnolo, who played TPC Sawgrass in 1986 for a Golf Digest contest to reveal America’s Worst Avid Golfer, dunked 27 balls in the water at 17 and ended up with a 63-over 66. That’s what pros can shoot in a single round!

Spagnolo finished the round with a 257, which is a score of 185 over par. And yes. You guessed it. He was named America’s Worst Avid Golfer for his impossibly high score.

If you think you could conquer the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, you might want to think again.


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