PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The PGA Tour media guide doesn’t list a lucky number for Lucas Herbert.
But it’s safe to say it isn’t 5.
Five trips to the water turned into a pair of quintuple bogeys Friday, turning the Australian golfer’s debut at the Players Championship into a five-alarm fire. He finished with a second-round 85 to follow his opening 82, a total score of 23 over par.
According to Players Championship media guide records, Herbert’s 167 is the highest two-round score for a player missing the cut since Mike Brisky shot 170 in 2000. It wasn’t immediately clear how many other players, if any, had two quintuple bogeys in one round at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
Though the conditions were largely favorable for the first two rounds, the course still inflicted a few disasters. None felt the sting worse than Herbert, who already brought up the rear after Thursday’s opening round. Friday was no improvement.
At 17, his eighth hole of the day, the water gobbled up Herbert’s first two approaches to the island green, short on the first, long on the second. Playing five from the tee, he hit the rough left, chipped on and two-putted for an 8.
Only nine players have made a higher score at the 17th at the Players, the most recent being Byeong Hun An’s 11 in the first round in 2021.
It got worse, and weirder, for Herbert at the 379-yard par-4 fourth.
The trouble began with an errant tee shot into the left rough. He found water, and took a drop. And again. And again. By the time it was over, he wound up with a 9. The record-worst score at No. 4 is Phillip Hancock’s 12 in 1985.
That wasn’t the end of Herbert’s headaches. At No. 6, he reached the green in regulation but four-putted for a double bogey. At No. 7, a sudden gust blew a chip right back down the hill to his starting position. Result: another bogey.
A cloud seemed to hang over two-thirds of Herbert’s playing group during the week, including a sextuple-bogey 10 from Aaron Wise at the 18th on Thursday.
Herbert’s week underscores Sawgrass’s many pitfalls that lurk even for accomplished professionals. He previously appeared at the Players in 2022, making the cut but ending in a tie for 68th with a 7-over 295. He stands 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking.