Then two seconds later:
Brad Faxon was in pain, and he was hundreds of yards away. Think, then, of Nick Watney. He was 3 feet from the hole.
Then 9 inches.
This is an odd one to unpack — the meltdown happened on TPC Sawgrass’ famed island-green par-3 17th, though it had only a little to do with rinsing a ball. Watney had suffered that fate during Thursday’s Players Championship first round, after he darted his tee shot over the green, but, from the drop zone, he worked a wedge to the green and had about 30 feet left for bogey.
He hit that 3 feet past.
“So it’ll be a five in all likelihood for Nick Watney,” announcer Mike Tirico said on the Golf Channel broadcast.
Well … how about a six? Watney missed the double-bogey putt to the left of the hole. It hurt Faxon. That was the “gahhhh,” four H’s. Putting is his thing, and misses sting. Google “Brad Faxon putt golf.com,” and you’ll get a sample of his expertise.
There’s more. There’s the “gahhhhhhh,” seven H’s, and the “stop.”
On stroke six on 17, Watney took two steps to his ball. He one-handed it. It was 9 inches from the hole. He missed.
On stroke seven on 17, with both hands on the club, Watney putted his ball in. He had started the hole — his eighth of the day after starting on the back nine — at two-over and in 96th place. He walked to 18 at six-over and in 138th, a drop of 42 spots.
‘Oh, man,” Tirico said on the broadcast. “Well, you’re running hot, right. You’re running hot. You’re frustrated. And you just click out for a second.”
“You want to kick yourself after you do stuff like that, too,” Faxon said. “Because you never know when that one shot makes a difference, whether it’s a cut, whether it’s getting a top 50 or the top 30 for FedEx events down the road.”
“Frustrating to watch,” Tirico said.
Let’s try to end this positively.
On 18, Watney hit again in the water. Things were spiraling.
Then, on the par-5 2nd, he chipped in for eagle from the left side of the green.
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