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Jake Knapp hits water twice, OB once to make a shocking 12 at Bay Hill

March 09, 2024
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Jake Knapp hits a tee shot during third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Brennan Asplen

ORLANDO – They're not always living the dream on the PGA Tour. Sometimes a nightmare intervenes. Ask Jake Knapp.

It seems so long ago when a player could simply drive the green or thereabouts on the par-five sixth hole at Bay Hill Club and turn it into a pitch-and-putt par 4. But it wasn’t. Bryson DeChambeau smote a tee shot 370 yards during the third round of the 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational on his way to an easy birdie.

Yep, those were the good old days.

On Saturday morning at Bay Hill, Knapp, a rookie who won the Mexico Open last month, became the second player in as many days to hit double figures on the double-dogleg left hole that wraps around a large lake. The California native suffered a septuple-bogey 12 that featured an array of wet and wayward shots.

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Playing alongside Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, Knapp, 29, failed to clear the water with his first two tee shots. He then hit his third drive through the fairway to the right and out of bounds. His seventh stroke, still from the teeing ground, also was right of the fairway but stayed in the rough as he clubbed down for a drive of just 239 yards.

From there, it was fairly straightforward. He pitched shot No. 8 150 yards up the fairway, then left his ninth shot 56 yards short of the green. A pitch to 20 feet and two putts and he was penciling in a 12 on his scorecard.

Perhaps shellshocked from that debacle, Knapp bogeyed his next two holes to turn in 45. And undoubtedly what made his struggle more confounding is that he eagled the hole on Friday after a 344-yard drive and an approach to seven feet. Or, in other words, he had four times more strokes on Saturday.

Knapp, who is known for his Instagram handle that includes the initials LTD for "Living the Dream" now owns the distinction of making the highest score of the week on the sixth hole, surpassing the 10 that England's Tommy Fleetwood suffered in the second round on the way to missing the cut.

One of these days, someone is going to challenge the all-time record of 18 John Daly scored in 1998. Now, those really were the days.