PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA – It was one swing in 73 for Sergio García on Thursday but it was a special one.
García salvaged a challenging first round at the Players Championship when he aced the par-3 17th hole, his tee shot taking one bounce behind the hole and then slipping in the back door for the eighth Players Championship ace on the famous hole.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 11, 2017
The details: 123 yards; 52-degree wedge; García’s 12th hole-in-one.
“I hit a good shot, but it can go there, it can go 3 yards past. I don’t know. It can do anything,” said García, who is six strokes behind co-leaders Mackenzie Hughes and William McGirt.
“It was nice to see it bounce and kind of spin back into the hole. Maybe because I needed it after the start I had. It kind of made quite a poor round into – not a great round but a decent round.”
If there was one thing García would change about the ace it was this:
“I wish we would have had the amount of people for the (Wednesday night Sam Hunt) concert because there was a lot more, but yeah, it was good fun,” García said.
García had not played a competitive round since winning The Masters a month ago. He wasn’t particularly sharp, making three bogeys and a double bogey in his first six holes. The ace helped him shoot 3-under 33 on his second nine.
Asked on Wednesday how he expected to feel when he heard himself introduced as Masters champion for the first time at a tournament, García said he wasn’t sure. He found out Thursday.
“The feeling was great. I was a little bit nervous early on,” García said.
“I think I wasn’t quite in the tournament because of everything that’s been going on with – obviously after The Masters win and media and people congratulating you left, right and center. I felt like I was a little bit up in the clouds, and when I woke up, I was 4 over after six. That didn’t help, but then I started hitting better shots, started hitting better putts, and at least we were able to salvage a round there at the end.”