'Slam dunk' ace on iconic No.17 stuns the Players Championship

An American golfer has hit a remarkable ‘slam dunk’ hole-in-one on the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

In a shot to stun the Players Championship, Ryan Moore mastered the 121-yard par three in the first round.

Moore used a 54-degree wedge as his ball hit the flagstick and fell directly into the hole.

The ace was the first on the island 17th since Sergio Garcia in 2017 and ninth in tournament history.

Some 857 tee shots had been hit between the two hole-in-ones.

Ryan Moore’s ball-tracking for his 17th ace is a thing of beauty. Pic: PGA Tour

Aussies in the mix

Jason Day and Adam Scott are steadily climbing the leaderboard midway through the first round at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

Day mixed birdies on each of the two par 5s with a bogey at the par-4 fifth hole to make the turn at one-under-par before adding another birdie at the driveable par-4 12th.

However he immediately gave a shot back at the par-3 13th and the 2016 Players winner currently sits six shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who took advantage of relatively calm morning conditions during a 65.

The in-form Englishman holds the clubhouse lead at seven under – one shot ahead of Byeong Hun An and Brian Harman (66) as well as Keegan Bradley (through 15 holes).

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy has continued his solid form from last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational and with a 67 leaving him at five under.

Two-time Players winner Tiger Woods sits at one-under the card through 14 holes, having combined three bogeys with four birdies.

Also at one under are 2004 Players winner Scott (through 13 holes) and Marc Leishman (71), who survived a rocky finish to the course’s brutal closing holes.

Leishman rinsed his tee shot in the water hazard at the famous par-3 17th but saved a bogey before making par on the difficult 18th.

Leishman had a solid round round going until he reached the diminutive par-3 17th, which measures only 121 yards but its island green makes it tough even for the world’s best golfers to hold their tee shots.

“It’s a hole I could nearly throw the ball on the green from the tee,” Leishman joked after his round.

Cameron Smith signed for an even-par 72, while Aaron Baddeley rounds out the Australian contingent but is two over on his round.

Meanwhile, Harris English made an albatross 2 at the par-5 11th, which was the fifth albatross in Players history and only the second at the 11th.

with AAP