Watney's putt was for a triple-bogey on the 125 yard hole after he found the water long with his tee shot. His third safely found the green but four putts later, including a missed tiddler, and he was walking off with a shocking 7.
His 5ft double bogey putt on the 17th slid by on the right side and, clearly showing a bit of anger or at least a loss of concentration, he then went to tap-in his 9-inch putt for six with just one hand. He dragged it left in what will have been a slightly embarrassing moment and one that could have big implications on his chances of making the cut.
Watch Watney's missed putt:
There are no gimmes on the PGA TOUR. Nick Watney cards a quadruple bogey at 17th hole. pic.twitter.com/3omjPExJHYMarch 9, 2023
The American dropped to six-over-par for his round at that point, having started on the 10th tee and opening up with a triple-bogey 7. He then bogeyed the 18th to fall to seven-over but had somewhat of a revival on the front nine, his back nine, before play was called due to darkness with three holes still left to play.
He eagled the par-5 2nd after holing a pitch shot from 23 yards and then birdied the short par-4 4th hole after sticking his approach to 11ft. That leaves him at four-over-par with three holes remaining on Friday morning.
Watney, the former World No.9, is a five-time PGA Tour winner. His biggest win came at the 2011 WGC-Cadillac Championship but he is without a victory in almost 11 years. He also has only played in one Major since 2016 and currently ranks down at 460th in the world.
The Californian kept his card last year after finishing 123rd on the FedEx Cup points list, perhaps with some LIV Golf defectors to thank, despite missing 20 cuts including 11 in a row.
He'll have work on his hands to make the cut at TPC Sawgrass this week, where a huge $25m prize money is up for grabs.
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Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL
Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
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