At Players, big mistakes result in big money losses

Cameron Davis after a disappointing shot on the par-5 16.

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On Sunday afternoon, Tyrrell Hatton sat next to NBC’s Mike Tirico and watched the highlights of his last two hours play out on a monitor in front of him. Birdie at 10. Birdie at 12. And then the ridiculous range of birdies coming home: 14-15-16-17-18. As his final approach shot in the replay nestled in front of him near the back hole, Hatton found himself grinning.

“You have to shorten the fact that I actually smiled on the golf course,” said the often irritated Englishman. Hatton’s back nine catapulted him out of the darkness from five under par (he would have finished T29 or so) to second solo place at 12 under. He earned $2.7 million in the process.

But one man’s treasure means another man’s trash, and That Gamblers’ Sunday saw a handful of pros see their fortunes dwindle throughout the day. Let’s check out those who were ready to win big – until TPC Sawgrass got in the way:

Taylor Montgomery started the day at T11 and with five birdies in his first 14 holes, worked his way up the front of the leaderboard to hit 10 under par – a number that would have earned him T3 and a seven figure check. Things started to go wrong when Montgomery bogeyed on the par-4 15th. They got worse when he made two chips and three putts en route to a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 16. And they got downright unlucky when he hit his tee shot long in the water and left on the par 3 17th, fell, hit his pitch shot in the water too, fell again and went for a quadruple bogey 7. That stretch of three holes with seven over par put him back to 3 under par, a share of 44th place and about $75,000.

Aaron Rai was set for a top five finish after a birdie in 16th place. But then he returned to the par-3 17th where he had made an ace the day before. This time he hit long and went, ended up doing a triple bogey and crashing on T19. His earnings instead went from just under $1 million to $275,000.

Chad Ramey played alongside Rai and got off to a terrible start with a three-putt double in number 1 and a scrambling bogey in number 2. He righted the ship for most of the round before hitting another double bogey completed a bad bookend at 18. His final 76 left him T27. For a man who has never finished in the top 20 in a major tour event (he has a win and a T5 in contra field events), this was a huge opportunity; I’m sure Ramey will come away a bit disappointed.

Tommy Fleetwood T4 started the day but crashed out with three bogeys in his first six holes. He played his way back to the front of the leaderboard with birdies on 10, 11 and 12. But then he took an unplayable tee shot after a rogue tee shot at 14, hit a bad approach from there and walked away with a double. At No. 17 his shot seemed to take a gust and ended up briefly in the water. Double bogey again. This dropped him from T5 to T27.

Scottie Scheffler watches a tee shot during the final round of the Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler dominates Players Championship and wins record payday


Josh Berhow

Min Woo Lee held part of the lead at 13-under par after a skillful up and down for par in the par 3 third. It’s hard to properly summarize the rest of your day. He did an ugly triple bogey on #4 and briefly threw his wedge approach into the water. Not much happened until the par-5 11, where he left his tee shot in the woods, hit three shots to escape and hit a double bogey 7. He rallied with birdies on 16 and 17 – but bogeyed No. 18 to finish T6 with 76. He’s still made $736,607 so I’d expect him to be able to pay his utility bills. But if you could turn those 7s into pars, he would’ve made a few million more, plus special temporary status on the PGA Tour (Lee is a member of the DP World Tour). Based on the game he’s been showing off all week, there’s little doubt he’ll be there soon.

“Yes, it happened very quickly,” Lee said of his breakdown. “It’s one of those things where it’s Sunday and you just make some bad decisions and it kind of falls into place.

“But I’ve done pretty well with it. I didn’t have everything today. It’s funny how [Saturday] I felt like I had the best swing in the world and then today I just felt like nothing could go right. So, nice finish and I’m pretty proud of the result and I think it will carry me forward for a long time. It could have been a lot worse, that’s for sure.”

There are of course others. Ben Griffins dropped from T13 to T35 with a triple bogey in 18th. Cam Davis found the water at 17, costing himself a chance for the podium in the process. Hideki Matsuyama Played his last five holes at three-over-par, costing himself a shot at T2 or better. The course became more difficult as the day progressed. The wind picked up. Except for winner Scottie Scheffler, nobody in the last three groups shot better than 74. Golf is tough, and it’s even tougher when you have the finish line in front of you, with points and dollar numbers tied directly to every shot – and water lurking everywhere.

And there’s no question that those late bogeys hurt the most.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier Editor

Dylan Dethier is senior writer for GOLF Magazine/ A Williamstown, Mass. native, he joined GOLF in 2017 after two years of tussling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he studied English, and is the author of 18 in Americawhich describes the year he lived off his car as an 18-year-old and played a round of golf in every state. At Players, big mistakes result in big money losses

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