Sergio Garcia enjoying 17th-hole benevolence

THE PLAYERS Championship - Round Two

David Cannon

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Suddenly, the golf gods are smiling on Sergio Garcia.

A day after making a hole-in-one on the 17th hole and its island green in the opening round of the Players Championship, the 37-year-old Spaniard saw his tee shot on the par 3 hit the bulkhead, bounce in the air and land safely on the green before two-putting from 46 feet for par.

“Unfortunately, when I hit it, the wind went straight into us,” said Garcia, who hit wedge from 147 yards. “So, obviously very lucky to hit the boards and come back into the green and make a good three.

“That hole has been good to me a lot of times, but this week it's been very good.”

It has also been bad.

Prior to this week Garcia has put five tee shots into the water around 17, including two during the final round in 2013 when he came to the hole tied for the lead with Tiger Woods.

Garcia has had his share of heartbreaks elsewhere, too, but last month broke through first his first career major, defeating Justin Rose on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Masters.

Making his first start since his victory at Augusta National, Garcia finished with a one-under 71 on Friday and enters the weekend at even par.