WATCH: Viktor Hovland Gets Incredible Break On 17 At TPC Sawgrass

Viktor Hovland somehow stayed dry in his second close encounter with the Sawgrass sleepers during the Players Championship

Viktor Hovland hits a fairway wood at the Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Viktor Hovland may just be the luckiest man at TPC Sawgrass this week after getting a huge slice of fortune and the most unlikely par on the iconic 17th hole.

The Norwegian was short with his tee shot towards the island green, but when it looked for all the world like his ball would be getting wet, he got a massive helping hand from the wooden sleepers.

Instead of a big splash, we heard a huge thump of golf ball on wood and the ball then looped up into the air, landed on the dancefloor, and somehow stayed dry.

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From there, Hovland took full advantage by playing a nice chip and sinking the putt for a three that looked nowhere near achievable as his tee shot headed towards the water.

It was a crucial stroke of luck to keep Hovland’s momentum going too, as he’d just rattled off three straight birdies at 14, 15 and 16 to move to four-under for his second round at the Players Championship and seven-under for the tournament.

It’s not the first close encounter with the sleepers at TPC Sawgrass for Hovland, as he had to perform a balancing act on the 16th during his first round on Thursday after his approach also toyed with the water.

Again, he was spared as his ball nestled right on the edge in the collar of rough, but he had to play like a tightrope walker to balance right in the precipice before aiming a putt towards the hole.

The 25-year-old managed to card a birdie four on the 16th from that escape, but his one on 17 on day two, although just for a par, was even more miraculous – and if he goes on to win the Players Championship he’ll look back on these moments as pivotal.

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.