Alex Smalley joins elite group with latest hole-in-one at TPC Sawgrass

Alex Smalley became the third player this week to hit a hole-in-one on TPC Sawgrass’ famous 17th hole on Sunday afternoon.

It is the first time at the Players Championship there has been more than one ace recorded and American Smalley is only the 13th player in the tournament’s history to achieve the feat on 17.

Here, the PA news agency looks at this week’s remarkable run on Sawgrass’ ‘island green’.

Hayden Buckley

The American started his opening round on the 10th and began the tournament strongly, walking to the famous 17th – which has ruined the hopes of some of the best to play the game – at one under par.

By the time he walked off the green he was in a share for the lead after his pitching wedge took a couple of skips forwards before spinning back down the slope and into the cup to spark joyous celebrations from the 27-year-old.

Aaron Rai

The 28-year-old from Wolverhampton lit up the 17th as part of a remarkable close to his third round on Saturday.

Rai became the first player in Players Championship history to finish 4-1-3 after birdieing 16 and 18 either side of a sensational ace on 17.

Much like Buckley’s effort, the ball hopped forward twice before spinning back to find the cup as the crowd around the green erupted and Rai was embraced by his caddy.

Alex Smalley

The 26-year-old took a different approach to finding the cup, with his ball never even touching the green before landing in the hole.

Smalley had endured a difficult final round, with two bogeys and a double-bogey on 16 leaving him three over par for the tournament.

But he hit back in stunning fashion as his tee shot landed in the rough and bounced directly into the hole.