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Ryan Fox Makes a Hole in One at the Island Green 17th Plus Some Players Championship History

The New Zealander's eagle at the famous par-3 followed an eagle at the par-5 16th.

Aces haven't been particularly rare in recent years at the famous par-3 17th hole at the Players Championship, with seven in six tournaments from 2016 through 2023 including three last year. 

But when Ryan Fox holed out Thursday morning at the island green, he made more history than just adding his name to the list of holes in one.

The pro from New Zealand made the 14th ace at 17 in Players history and did so immediately after an eagle at the par-5 16th, and back-to-back eagles had not been made before at those two pivotal holes, according to records dating to 1983. 

The final three holes at TPC Sawgrass comprise one of the most famous finishing stretches in golf, where players can go low or make some ugly numbers. 

At the reachable par-5 16th, Fox (who began his round on the back nine) hit a 328-yard drive that left only 180 yards to the green and he stuck the second shot to within three feet. Then at 17 he took advantage of the front hole location, which allows pros to spin wedges off a backboard slope to the pin.

But he gave one back at the demanding par-4 18th, which has one of the toughest tee shots on the course. Fox's drive sailed right of the fairway into a wooded area (a popular miss given the fact that water is all the way down the left), and after punching out short of the green Fox required three more shots to get down for a bogey 5.

Still, going 3 under around TPC Sawgrass's final three holes is nothing to sneeze at.