Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Players, 13 Is Just as Lucky as 17

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

At Players, 13 Is Just as Lucky as 17

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union columnist

The Shamlatys and Caldwells, two couples from Mandarin, have a routine at The Players Championship. Every morning they head directly to their favorite hole, a par-3 with lots of water, set up their chairs and camp out pretty much for the whole tournament.

"Always here," Ron Shamlaty said. "Always at No. 13."

That's not a typo.

One-three. Thirteen. Not 17.

No. 13 has all the ingredients. It's a picturesque hole with a wickedly challenging three-tiered green. It's tucked in a corner of a famous golf course. It has water and flowers and beautiful old trees. But here's the thing: It's kind of like the peak right next to Mount Rushmore, or the street that crosses Pennsylvania Avenue, or the geyser two holes down from Old Faithful.

It isn't on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Golf Plus and a USA Today special section this week. It doesn't have T-shirts and tumblers for sale in concession tents. It doesn't have its own live Webcast.

It isn't No. 17.

But those fans who can be found hanging out at No. 13, No. 8 and No. 3 -- the "other" par-3s at The Players Championship -- will tell you this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

"We prefer to get out of the crowds," said Atlantic Beach's Jeff Dewey, sitting on the hill behind the eighth green one afternoon last week. "No. 17 is the see and be-seen hole."

If that's what you're looking for, then by all means head to the popular watering hole. But if you want to see golf and golfers, if you want get close enough to hear what they're muttering under their breath, try a hole like No. 13.

And if you really want to have some fun, wander into one of the souvenir tents, find a sales clerk and say, "I'll take a No. 13 tumbler."

Sure, No. 17 gets all the pub. But did you know that, year after year, No. …

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