WATCH: Alex Smalley makes third hole-in-one of 2023 Players Championship at famous 17th island green
Alex Smalley added his name to the list of those who scored one after another on the 17th par-3 on TPC Sawgrass this week with one of his own in the final round of the Players Championship 2023. Product Duke became the third player to make an ace on the island green – new tournament record. Hayden Bucky from the first round And Aaron Rai from round 3.
With the pin hidden in his traditional Sunday hole, Smalley’s 145-yard shot is arguably the most impressive of them all. With no crest to bounce his golf ball and no need to carry a pot bunker to protect the front right side of the green, Smalley’s shot required exceptional accuracy and left little room for error.
After a strong first bounce, the ball made an act of disappearance when it reached the bottom of the cup.
THIRD AS OF THE WEEK!!! @ASmalley_Golf cards 1 to number 17 @THEPLAYERSChamp! pic.twitter.com/Itl4abCS1Y
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 12, 2023
The shot came at the perfect time for Smalley as he just made a double bogey on an available par-5 16th. By immediately returning those two shots with a single swing of the golf club, the 26-year-old returned to the championship level.
Smalley’s hole shot is the first of 17 in the final round of the Players Championship since the Freddie Couples in 1997. This is also the 13th out of 17 in the history of the championship and the seventh in the last seven years. From 2003 to 2016 there were no aces on the 17th, a drought that has since turned into a flood.