Tuesday, May 4

Video: The Players Championship Memorable Moments

“BE THE RIGHT CLUB. Be the right club today!”

That was Hal Sutton talking to his approach shot (3:07 mark) on the final hole of the 2000 Players Championship when he held off Tiger Woods. Whatever you think of Hal, that has to be one of the coolest ball-in-air comments ever. In fact, I may use it the next time I hit a 5-iron that covers the stick. Only I can’t do it with that Shreveport, Louisiana, accent.

This is a fun highlights package. It begins in 1982 with Jerry Pate stiffing his orange golf ball on the 72nd hole to win and then—you’ll have to watch it to believe it—Pate tosses then commissioner Deane Beman, the brainchild of The Players Championship, into the drink—sport coat, tie, wire rims and all. Jerry’s not through. Next he throws course designer Pete Dye into the water. Then JP makes his famous dive.

A bunch more clips: There’s Greg Norman torching TPC Sawgrass, Fred Couples making an improbable eagle on 16 and birdie on 17, and Craig Perks (remember him?) incredibly holing out on the final three holes to win his one and only PGA Tour event in 2002. And there’s also 48-year-old Fred Funk shaking his head and saying in 2005, “I can’t believe I won this thing. I just can’t believe it.”

The Players Championship is one of those tournaments that I tire of the hype. The fifth major. How many years have I heard that? Too many. But I have to admit that the tournament itself often exceeds my expectations. There’s been a lot of excitement over the years. And a lot of sweaty palms and wet golf balls.

Who will win this year?

−The Armchair Golfer

1 comment:

Patricia Hannigan said...

Even if I didn't have a slight obsession with Sergio Garcia, I'll never forget his victory at the Players two years ago. It was the relatively early days of Twitter and I was watching the tournament while Twittering with a small group of golfers. Two of them were from Spain and the excitement and awesomeness of following the competition live... into the playoff... with them... and Sergio was extraordinary. We still tweet about it often.

Of course we're all still waiting to see some follow-up brilliance from El Nino. :o\