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If Viktor Hovland goes on to win the 2023 edition of The Players Championship, he’ll undoubtedly look back on his tee shot at the famed 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during Friday’s second round as one of the defining moments of his week.

And even if the three-time PGA Tour winner doesn’t claim victory, he’ll always be able to say he hit one of the most unbelievable shots you’ll ever see at one of golf’s most iconic holes. And, no, it wasn’t a hole-in-one. We’ve seen plenty of those at the “Island Green” before, including one this week from Hayden Buckley.

But this was something much different. And, honestly, the odds of what Hovland’s ball did might be higher than the odds of an ace.

Viktor Hovland hit an unbelievable shot on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the second round of The Players Championship

Viktor Hovland hits his tee shot at the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the second round of the 2023 Players Championship
Viktor Hovland plays his tee shot on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the second round of The Players Championship on March 10, 2023 | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Coming off a 3-under 69 on Thursday, Hovland was one of the first players to hit the course on Friday morning for the second round of the 2023 Players Championship, beginning his day at 7:34 a.m. Eastern. And he got off to a blazing start.

Playing alongside reigning U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and 2019 Open Championship winner Shane Lowry, Hovland began his day on the 430-yard, par-4 10th hole and opened his round with a birdie. Following three straight pars, the 25-year-old Norweigan then made birdies at 14, 15, and 16 to get to 4-under for the day and 7-under for the week, leaving him just one back of the lead at the time.

Up next, obviously, was the daunting 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, which played at 145 yards on Friday. And here’s what Viktor Hovland did.

Ridiculous, right?

I’m still trying to figure out how that ball didn’t get wet as it clearly should have — twice.

First, Hovland’s tee shot was obviously short. But instead of hitting the side of the railroad ties surrounding the green and bouncing back into the water, his ball magically hit the top and flew forward. But the island (okay, the peninsula) isn’t that deep, so surely his shot would just find the drink on the other side, right?


Incredibly, despite the velocity on it, his ball stopped just mere inches from the edge. The world No. 11 got up and down for par, and that was that.

Hovland’s luck did eventually run out, though. After adding a fifth birdie for the day at No. 2, he shot 4-over in his final seven holes to finish with a 1-under 71. But he’s still right there in the mix. When play was suspended due to weather, he was just four back of the lead at 4-under, good for a tie for eighth.


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