Golfers Shocked by Insanely Fast Greens On Saturday at 2016 Players
by Kyle Porter
It had to go like this, didn't it? At the tournament that sports (maybe) the best field in golf, the course became the story. After two rounds of course record-tying 63s earlier in the week (Jason Day in Round 1, Shane Lowry in Round 2), TPC Sawgrass came back with a fury in the third round. The scoring average on Saturday afternoon soared over 75, and the main culprit was the greens, which were completely out of hand. Just ask the golfers. "I felt like I was putting on dance floors out there. We all did," said Billy Horschel, who shot a 75. "I've never seen putts that quick before. Augusta is probably the quickest greens we play all year, and I'm sorry, Sawgrass made those greens look like 8s on the stimpmeter." Wooooo boy. "I've got this 12-footer for birdie, really good, realistic chance," added Horschel. "I'm like, 'Just touch it,' and I touched it, and I thought it had a chance to make it. About halfway to the hole, it picked up speed and it hit about mach 9, and it ended up by Bill [Haas]' marker. It looked foolish. It looked like I wasn't paying attention, but I'm telling you, I really just touched this putt." He wasn't the only one. Sergio Garcia needed six putts on the par-4 fifth.
"It's like a U.S. Open out there," said Rory McIlroy after hitting 16 greens and shooting 75. "I can't really describe it any other way. It got to the point where when you're grounding your putter, you can't square it up because the surfaces are so shiny and so slippy. It was difficult. It was really difficult. "That was borderline unfair on a few holes. A few pin positions were on crowns, and you dribble a putt by, all of a sudden it's six feet by. There was a few pins out there that I felt were just a little too much on the edge." The statistics were completely out of control. Just like the greens, which resulted in rounds well over five hours for many of the players.