Harold Varner III's Expletive-Laden Reaction To TPC Sawgrass Disaster
It's not a shot for the faint-hearted, as Harold Varner III found out on Thursday at The Players Championship
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Harold Varner III admitted he was "s******* his pants" as he prepared to hit his third from the drop zone on the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass after finding the water with his tee shot.
The American was leading The Players Championship on seven-under through 16 holes when he took on one of the most famous par-3s in golf and could only watch on in despair as his ball spun off the front of the island green.
Rather than re-tee, the 31-year-old opted to try his luck from the drop zone, where players face a shorter, but equally daunting task. Before and after impact, it's safe to say he wasn't feeling confident.
"Well, I was s******* my pants when I got up there because the angle was just so bad," Varner said. "I wasn't sure. I got up there, and it was just a little funky, but I was more scared that it might go in the water again. When it was coming down, I was like, not another one.
"But it doesn't kill me when I play bad or good. I love just the opportunity to play as well as I can. Standing there on 16 tee or 17 tee, I'm like, give it to me, I want it every time."
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His third stayed dry, albeit he was still 50 feet away from the pin, and he would eventually card a triple-bogey six that dropped him out of the lead. But Varner was left more disappointed by his response on 18, where he let another shot slip to post a three-under 69.
He added: "I guess I was more disappointed by not hitting a better shot off the tee on 18 because it's how you respond, and that's what I have to do either Saturday morning or tomorrow. I hope tomorrow.
"It's a game. That's why we play it. No one is going to die out there. I've always said that. Just was in between clubs and didn't execute the shot, and that's what you get a lot out here. Either you get it done or you don't."
For all that Varner was undone by the the Stadium Course's brutal closing holes, it actually could have been a whole lot worse, as his round nearly got off to the worst possible start. Thankfully, one of the caddies in his group spared his blushes with seconds to spare.
"The coolest thing that happened today was Will Zalatoris's caddie found my ball on the first hole plugged with like five seconds left before I had to go back to the tee. He stepped on it.
"It could have been totally different, so I'm super fortunate just to be obviously in the clubhouse. It was a long day. I think it's going to be a long week, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to just have a chance."
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
What's in Andy's bag?
Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)
3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)
Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)
Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
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