WATCH: Hayden Buckley Makes Hole-In-One On Iconic 17th At The Players Championship

Hayden Buckley was in just the second group of the day as he hit an ace at the iconic par three at TPC Sawgrass

Hayden Buckley gets a hole-in-one at the Players Championship
(Image credit: Twitter @PGATOUR)

The fearsome 17th at TPC Sawgrass was conquered on the opening morning of the Players Championship as Hayden Buckley made a rare hole-in-one in the PGA Tour’s flagship event.

Measuring just 125 yards for the first round, Buckley’s group was just the second of the day to tackle the iconic par three test, and his playing partner Taylor Montgomery came unstuck as he found the water just before him.

Buckley was undeterred though, and hit a nice shot beyond the flag that dug its toes in to stop dead, before hitting reverse and starting to roll down the slope.

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It’s a pretty welcoming pin position on Thursday with a nice bank just behind the hole for those accurate enough to find it, but with a front flag anything short will likely get wet.

Buckley was already having a decent front nine as he was one-under after seven holes, but moved to the top of the very early leaderboard on three-under after that memorable ace on 17.

It’s just the 11th hole-in-one on the 17th in Players Championship history and the second year running someone has made an ace, with Shane Lowry doing the business last year.

And as Buckley raced away throwing his cap into the air in celebration, he may not be the only one with relatively benign conditions to start the Players Championship and a kind hole placement meaning there are ideal conditions for others to stick it close on 17.

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Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.