May 10, 2016
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The most intimidating hole in golf sure hasn’t fazed Rickie Fowler.
During his thrilling victory last year, he played the watery par-3 17th in 5 under par, including three birdies in the final round (two in the sudden-death playoff).
In his last four starts here, he is 9 under on the island hole, making one of the scariest shots in golf seem relatively straightforward.
“Leading into last year, I had played 17 well,” he said Tuesday. “I hit a lot of quality shots there. I made a lot of birdies there. I had a lot of confidence on 17. Last year, it definitely didn’t hurt that. Hitting the shots that I did under the pressure and the situation, yeah, it’s only going to help.”
His trio of birdies on 17 was only part of Fowler’s epic finish, when he played the last six holes in 6 under, then prevailed in a playoff against Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner.
“I look forward to 17, just because it’s a fun hole to play,” he said. “No matter what the wind is doing, it’s always interesting. You’ve got to be spot-on there, so it demands a lot out of the shot.”