Even though Ryan Moore made a hole in one on Thursday at the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, Tiger Woods probably had the two defining moments on the famous par 3 at the 2019 Players Championship.
On Friday, after playing his way up the leaderboard early on, Woods hit two balls in the water and made a quadruple-bogey seven (!), which was the only score worse than five for the entire day.
It sent him tumbling down the board and eventually resulted in a 11 a.m. tee time with Kevin Na. Things didn’t start well with those two either. Na and Woods did not make a single birdie over the first 10 holes in Round 3 before Na righted the ship with a birdie on the par-5 11th and Woods made his own on the par-4 12th.
After a full three hours of morose looks and dragging tails, Na eagled No. 16 and Woods birdied it so they went to No. 17 in high spirits. Their tee shots were money, too. On a gettable pin, Woods hit his to 3 feet, and Na hit his to 5 feet.
Na putted first and easily sank his birdie, but there was a catch. Na chased after it right after he hit it and waited over the hole for it to drop as if he couldn’t wait a single millisecond to get the ball out of the cup after it hit the bottom. He’s actually done something similar to this before, which is pretty hilarious, and Tiger cracked up hard.
Then on Woods’s easy birdie he semi-jokingly did the same. It wasn’t with as much earnestness as Na, of course, but Woods jumped after his ball and pulled it out of the cup as fast as he could. Then they walked arm in arm to the 18th hole laughing as hard as they’d laughed all day and maybe as hard as Woods has ever laughed on a golf course.
At a hole where Woods has provided innumerable must-see moments in big wins, this one was must see for a different reason. Tiger won’t won this week, and he won’t come close, but he provided a whole lot of levity and one of the best interactions we’ve seen on the course this week and probably so far in 2019.