Pro booked a flight home. Then he broke the TPC Sawgrass record

Nobody has ever gone deeper at TPC Sawgrass than Tom Hoge on Saturday.

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After a 78 in round one of the Players Championship, Tom Hoge wasn’t expecting much for the rest of the week so he made arrangements to return home.

He had booked American Airlines Flight 2465 from Jacksonville back to Dallas, which departed at 2:59 p.m. Friday afternoon

His game had other plans.

He turned and fired a 68 on round two on Friday morning that sent him staggering past on the cutline at two. Then the weather showed up, forcing the second round to be completed on Saturday morning, and Hoge had to stay another day to find out his fate.

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He booked the same flight for Saturday afternoon but canceled again when he shortened the number.

“I felt like my game was okay, so silly that means I could have missed the cut,” Hoge said after the round. “But I was excited to get back out there once I had a tee time.”

If Hoge has cancellation fees, we think he has more than made them worth it.

The world No. 33 set fire to Sawgrass with 10 birdies and no bogeys for 62 in the third lap, breaking the course record.

“It was nice to cancel a few flights,” Hoge said.

It surpasses the previous course record of 63 shared by Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Roberto Castro, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, Colt Knost, Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. (Knost was caught on camera while Hoge broke his record and You won’t regret taking 16 seconds to watch it)

Hoge said he had no idea how historic his round was until playing partner Shane Lowry told him after he potted his last birdie on TPC Sawgrass’s 9th hole (his 18th) and headed for goal.

“I didn’t even know it was a course record until we finished judging there,” said Hoge. “Today would be the day for that if you were out here because it was soft and little wind so you felt like you could birdie and keep trying to birdie. So I just felt happy and tried to use it as much as possible.”

After difficult conditions in the first two laps, with the field averaging nearly 73.8 on lap two, Friday’s passing storm softened Sawgrass. Players took advantage, lowering the course’s score average by more than four shots to under 69.6, the lowest of any round in tournament history.

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But nobody wrote as big as Hoge.

The Texan started on the back nine and got things going when his hybrid second shot rolled up to 13 feet on the par-5 11 and resulted in a birdie. He then fired a laser off the tee on the mobile par 4 12th and broke away just two yards from the pin, resulting in another two putt birdie.

After three more birdies, including the difficult 18th where he followed Justin Thomas’ eagle hole out, he turned at five under. He then made three more birdies in a row on holes 2-4 before running into trouble on hole 6.

His drive went right into the pine straw and he had to pace from 91 yards to keep his bogey-free run going.

But it wasn’t until he drilled a 24-foot birdie putt on #8 that the course record really looked threatened.

Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay and Justin Thomas congratulate Tom Hoge on 9th Green Saturday.

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On 9, the longest hole on the course, Hoge hung up after driving it into the fairway and then hit a wedge at 10 feet. His 10th birdie of the day never left the middle of the cup.

“I had a lot of putts today that I thought were pretty straight on the reads,” he said. “It looks like you’re having a little bit easier putts, a little bit better numbers with a couple of irons, so it’s just working, up to that point.”

Indeed, as Hoge was playing he pointed out that his round on Friday was almost as good when asked if Saturday’s round was one of his all-time bests. He said this isn’t his first course record but can’t remember exactly how many he has to his name. difficult problem.

“I shot 61 in a college qualifier at Southern Oaks south of Fort Worth,” he recalled. “I remember that one. Might have one in Canada somewhere near Toronto. Played up there with some friends. But I do not know. That was a long time ago, those days in North Dakota.”

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Actually the only problem that Hoge really had on Saturday? He’s not too happy with the players’ food at the PGA Tour’s flagship event. He said his favorite thing to eat is candy for breakfast, which was nowhere to be found this week.

“Actually, what I’m complaining about here this week is that the food in the players’ restaurants is too healthy,” Hoge said to a chorus of laughter at the media center. “There is a QR code for us; I have registered this complaint. They need food like the rest of the overweight people in America eat.”

He settled on some veggies on Saturday morning, but when he was done, having jumped from T65 to a tie 8th, just six strokes back, he wanted something more substantial.

“I’m pretty hungry right now,” Hoge said. “I’m ready for a cheeseburger or something.”

He starts at 1:05 p.m. with David Lingmerth in the final round.


Jack Hirsch editor

Jack Hirsh is Associate Editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was the captain of his high school golf team and still *tries* to stay competitive with the local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack worked for two years at a television station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a multimedia journalist/reporter, but he also produced, hosted and even presented the weather. He can be reached at Pro booked a flight home. Then he broke the TPC Sawgrass record

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