PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Kiradech Aphibarnrat wanted to “quit” after dunking two balls into the water at the famous island-green 17th hole at the Players Championship on Sunday.
After vaulting onto the leaderboard, on the verge of clinching his coveted PGA Tour card for next year, it all unraveled at the penultimate hole at TPC Sawgrass.
He mis-hit his first shot with a wedge from 137 yards which came up short at the par-three hole before reloading and doing the same thing again.
“I mis-hit it ... and mis-hit it again,” the Thai player said.
A poor drive at the final hole only compounded his anger.
“If I can walk away, I just want to quit,” he said.
“I know it’s not a good thing but to be honest I little bit lost my mind.”
He eventually made a 27-foot birdie from the fringe, but that was hardly consolation.
“It doesn’t matter what happened on the last hole, I have to tell you,” he said. “Two balls in the water, that got the tour card away from me and it’s just a pain.”
Aphibarnrat shot 67 to finish equal 30th on eight-under 280.
Three shots better and he would have tied for 11th.
He picked up enough points to earn temporary membership of the PGA Tour, which allows him to accept unlimited invitations for the remainder of the season.
However, a tie for 11th would have guaranteed his full exempt status for next season.
Instead he still has some work to do to finish this season ranked inside the top 125 and punch his ticket to the big league.
Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ian Ransom