Brooks Koepka couldn’t help but chuckle. When your nemesis comes after you again, you simply accept defeat.
At the Honda Classic a few weeks ago, Koepka discussed his struggles on the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass: “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve played that hole – if they throw that stat up, who’s played it the worst over the last five years, it’s probably me.”
Koepka wasn’t trying to be modest. In his five prior appearances at The Players Championship, Koepka had averaged 15 over par on the island hole.
After three days of waiting, he finally got his chance to face the threat on Saturday – and he did so right away, with his first complete hole following the commencement of Round 1. Koepka hammered his tee shot into the water, as he had done seven times before. A bogey and a double bogey.
Following the completion of the first round, Koepka’s trio returned to the par-4 10th to begin Round 2. So he returned approximately 3 12 hours after playing the 17th – and things got worse.
At No. 17, Koepka sent his tee shot into the water once more, this time well short of the green — his ninth career water ball. Because of the 25-30 mph winds, Koepka laughed while tilting his blonde-haired head back.
Koepka scored triple bogey this time, bringing his career score on the 17th hole to 20 over par.
The good news is that, at 7 over par for the tournament, Koepka was on his way to missing the cut, which means he won’t have to deal with that watery, tiny beast until next year.