Whoopsie! The 14th and 17th greens were gouged in a mowing accident during a routine maintenance run at Atlanta Athletic Club Wednesday evening, the eve of the first round of the PGA Championship.
The above picture was the best I could find on the internets, via Rex Hoggard’s Twitter, but from what I saw on Golf Channel, the par-3 17th green didn’t look pretty immediately following what Kelly Tilghman dubbed as a “major hiccup.”
Apparently the maintenance crew worked miracles and fixed them, according to a media blast from the PGA:
During this evening’s golf course greens maintenance at the Atlanta Athletic Club, there was minor damage caused to the edges of both the 14th and 17th greens. This damage is believed to be the result of a significant rise in the dew point at approximately 7:00 p.m., which caused the brushes on the mowers on those greens to stick in the grass and damage the turf.
The damage has already been fully repaired by the grounds staff at the Atlanta Athletic Club, led by Ken Mangum, the Director of Golf Courses and Grounds.
This will not affect the opening round of the 93rd PGA Championship and we look forward to play in the first round tomorrow in the season’s final major, beginning at 7:30 a.m. ET
Brutal Closing Time
As if the final stretch of holes weren’t causing enough eye rolling. Players have thrown around euphemisms such as “challenging” and “tough” to describe the last four.
“I don’t think there’s another stretch that I can remember that’s this difficult coming in,” said Tiger Woods. You have two long par 4s going uphill; you’ve got a par 3 where guys will be hitting lumber. Obviously 18 being as tight as it is for as long as it is, it’s a hell of a test. If you par those four holes every day, play those 16 holes even par, you’ll be picking up a ton of shots on the guys.”
Meanwhile, ’95 PGA champ Steve Elkington didn’t mince words.
“I have to refrain from telling you what I think until I see how it’s setup, but 17 and 18 are terrible,” said Elk, with a wry smile.
He hit a 3-iron to the back bunker on 17 and a driver off the tee on 18 and a fairway metal into the middle of the green.
Added Elk: “There’s no land between me and the green. There’s water. I’ve got no bounce in. There’s only one-shot in. It’s just one-dimensional.”
When informed of the damage on 17, he tweeted, “I’m going to aim at that gouge … It might stop my low flying 3 iron in there…”