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Sunday, May 22, 2022

The worst at No. 17? Brooks Koepka makes double-triple at the island hole on Saturday

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – At this point, Brooks Koepka could only laugh.

With his bleached blonde hair blowing in a 30 mph wind, Koepka knew before his tee shot landed where it was headed.

Water.

Again.

Koepka can only laugh after another water ball at 17

On a windswept afternoon at TPC Sawgrass, Koepka twice found the water and played all 17the hole at a combined 5 over par on Saturday. That brought his career total on that hole to 20-over-par, a staggering stat for a player of his champion caliber and his hitting prowess.

Following the triple bogey, he went out at 43 and signed for a second-round 81 at The Players, tying the lowest score of his career on Tour (Rd. 3, 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational). Although the 36-hole cutoff won’t be determined until Sunday, he knew he’d be leaving town early.

“It’s extremely difficult,” said Koepka, who finished both rounds with 9 over 153. “I felt like I had some bad opportunities on top of not playing well. Kind of one of those things for me. It’s just hard, man.”

Full Field Scores from The Players Championship

As for their continued struggles on the 17th, Koepka shrugged.

When play resumed at noon ET, he was in the first group to play the daunting hole. When he returned a few hours later, he used the same club, an 8-iron, that he had used on the previous 205-yard hole. This time, he only went 105 yards in the water.

“It’s one of those things where you just try to hit the right shot,” he said. “It’s like anything. You try to hit the right shot and hopefully it doesn’t speed up or shut down the moment you do it.”

Koepka has yet to record a top-10 finish in six career appearances on The Players.

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