The par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale gets all the attention during Waste Management Phoenix Open week for obvious reasons. But you could argue the more fun hole to watch is the following hole, the drive-able, risk-reward par-4 17th. It's a spot that has produced a ton of action over the years, both good and bad. Last year in the second round alone we saw a near ace at the 17th from Robert Garrigus and then minutes later an eagle putt from Ollie Schniederjans found the pond left of the green. The hole is a high-drama factory.
Chesson Hadley learned this the hard way in the opening round of the 2019 WMPO on Thursday. Hadley, who is making his fourth career start at Scottsdale this week, arrived at the 17th tee at three-under par, this after bogeying 14 and 15 and parring the 16th. So the 17th presented a great opportunity to get at least one, maybe even two of those shots back. After driving it to the front edge of the green, the 31-year-old had 105 feet left for his eagle, and he went full Ollie:
It's difficult to think of a bigger dagger then going from putting for eagle to taking a drop, a feeling you can clearly see on Hadley's face as he walks up the green. It wasn't quite Ollie scolding himself, but you know Hadley had to be seething, especially considering he was five under at the 13th hole and now falling apart. It got worse too, as Hadley hit his fourth seven feet short of the pin and then missed his bogey putt. The double dropped him all the way to one under, and he followed that up by hitting his drive into the water at the 18th and making another bogey to finish with an even-par 71. A nightmare final five-hole stretch.
But, as of now, this story could have a happy ending. Hadley has come out firing on Friday, making three birdies on his first six holes before dropping a shot at the par-3 16th. At 17 he got revenge, driving the green and making an 80 footer (!) for eagle. That is an all-time bounce back:
After going out in four-under 32, Hadley made back-to-back birdies to start his back nine at TPC Scottsdale's first and second holes, but just dropped a shot at th par-5 third. He's worked it back to five under for the week. Quite the roller coaster. We'll see if he can finish off his second round, get into contention on the weekend and add a second straight top 10 finish at the Waste Management to his record.
UPDATE: Following his bogey at the third, Hadley was able to finish strong this time, playing his last six holes in one under to post a 65. After the round, he made sure to remind the haters of that bomb of an eagle putt back at 17: