Pepperell, Vegas feed frenzy at famed 17 with long putts

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Eddie Pepperell’s 50-foot birdie putt sent the packed gallery surrounding the island green into a frenzy.

Jhonattan Vegas one-upped him a few minutes later.

Vegas drained a 70-footer that broke the tournament record for the longest recorded putt at the 17th green Sunday. Bernhard Langer held the previous mark, a 59-footer in the second round in 2008. The PGA Tour started keeping track of putt lengths in 2003.

The putts provided two memorable moments — in consecutive groups, no less — and added to a frantic finish at The Players Championship.

“Absolutely mind-blowing, simple as that,” Vegas said. “It never crossed my mind that I was going to make such a long putt on such a phenomenal hole. But it’s one of those things. That’s kind of what you play golf for, to be in those kinds of situations.

“Playing the 17th hole with that crowd, it just doesn’t get any better. Obviously the type of memories that last a lifetime and something that I’ll remember for forever.”

Pepperell has a similar keepsake. He started walking toward the hole after striking the ball, knowing it would be close. He had no idea it would be perfect.

“I was kind of relieved I didn’t…

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