- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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BAMBERGER: It shouldn't be on any list of the world's great courses, but by modern course standards, it's very good. For one thing, you can actually walk it, which is often not the case. For a really good player, it's a very good test. For a duffer, it's too long, there's way too much water and the greens are too tough. For the Players, it works beautifully, and that 17th hole is genius.
VAN SICKLE: The island green has been called a gimmick. I liked Brandel Chamblee's description: Pete Dye ruined a perfectly good lake.
GARRITY: I think it's a great TV golf hole. Without the crowd and color and excitement, it's a contrived disaster hole.
SHIPNUCK: I agree. It's good fun, and it has given the Players an identity.
HACK: I like the 17th, controversy and all. The players' bellyaching through the years makes me laugh. It's a short iron to a green the size of the Millennium Falcon. Fellas, the 18th is harder by a mile.
GARRITY: It's a great finishing stretch, and what a setup for the 72nd hole. There's so much emotion after you get past 17, then you get on the 18th tee and you're facing an even scarier shot.
SHIPNUCK: The 16th is an eagle opportunity, or you can hit it in the water and make a big number. Then you have to play 18 after you've been staggered by a few blows at 17. Those three holes are a cohesive finish, a crescendo.
VAN SICKLE: Sergio García, the defending Players champion, seemed resigned to a bad week at the Masters and then criticized the course afterward. What's up with that?
SHIPNUCK: Sergio said his goal was to make the cut at Augusta. Dude, you're Number 3 in the world. Aim a little higher. Even for Sergio, that was a bad mood. I asked a Spanish reporter at the Masters about why Sergio was so mopey. The writer said, "I think your word is brat."