Sergio Garcia enjoyed another incredible high at The Players Championship with an ace at the iconic 17th hole at Sawgrass
SERGIO Garcia enjoyed another incredible high in his first appearance as Masters champion, with a hole in one at the iconic 17thhole at Sawgrass.
Garcia stared in disbelief as his ball took one bounce and disappeared into the cup at the famous island hole.
He celebrated by letting out a whoop of delight and trading high fives and fist bumps with playing partners Adam Scott and Matt Kuchar.
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Amazingly he marked the achievement by sending cans of beer and bottles of vodka to the media centre – a version perhaps of the amateur tradition of buying everyone in the clubhouse a drink.
It was only the second ace at the 17th in the last 15 years – Willy Wilcox ended a 6,300 shot run without a hole in one when he achieved the feat in the second round last year.
Masters champ Garcia’s feat also helped him turn things round, after a dismal start to the Players Championship that saw him slump to four over par after just six holes.
That included a four putt at the fifth hole – so dispensing with that club altogether at the 17th was a shrewd move!
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His celebrations seemed to un-nerve Scott.
The Australian was leading at six under par as he stepped up to hit his tee shot – but a he dumped it in the water, and a double bogey five dropped him back to four under.
Garcia had already steadied the ship after that bumpy start by sandwiching a bogey at the 15th hole with birdies at 11 and 16.
He eventually signed for a one over par 73.
Rory McIlroy also shot a one-over-par 73 in his first outing since singing a £80million deal with TaylorMade.
Even before this latest money-spinner, Golf Digest had already identified him as the game’s biggest earner, with an annual income of just under £25million a year before he even hits a ball.
That has just climbed to £33million.