Players 2023: Tom Hoge scorches Sawgrass to shoot course-record 62, vaults up leaderboard
Tom Hoge woke up Saturday in Ponte Vedra not knowing if he was going to make the cut at the Players Championship. By the end of the day he had shot a course-record 10-under 62 at TPC Sawgrass and moved up 57 spots on the leaderboard and into a tie for eighth place at eight under par.
On a day where a new tournament-low scoring average was also set, Hoge smoothly worked his way around the Stadium Course and produced a bogey-free round that included 10 birdies.
Nine other people have shot 63.
Hoge, 33, finished his second round on Friday, well before the weather suspension, but after shooting 78-68 he was at two over par, which was one shot outside the cutline. So he was anxious to see if he would be playing, or if he needed to book a new flight home to Dallas. The cut slid, he played, and the rest is history.
“I just felt fortunate to have tee time this morning,” Hoge said. “Just tried to go out and make as many birdies as I could.”
The strategy worked. Hoge, who beat playing partner Justin Thomas by nine shots on the afternoon, made five birdies on each side and closed with birdies on the last two holes, including one from 10 feet on the ninth hole, his 18th of the day. His longest putt of the day was from 24 feet on the eighth hole, his 17th of the day. He said that hitting a hybrid into the 11th and a driver to seven feet on the par-4 12th were the two best shots he hit all day, although he missed both putts.
“I didn't even know it was a course record until after we got done in the scoring there,” Hoge admitted. “Today was going to be the day to do it if you were going to out here because it was soft with little wind, so you felt like you could make birdies and keep trying to make birdies. So just felt fortunate and tried to take advantage of it the best I could.”