With Camilo Villegas running away with a win at the Honda yesterday, the most compelling two minutes of the tournament came when Australia's Nathan Green tried (and then tried again) (and then again) to extricate his ball from the sludge just short of the 17th green.
In case you missed it, he progressively got wetter and muddier with each swing, as the ball popped up, flew a few yards and then rolled back through the rough and into the water. His 3rd attempt was the most impressive, for he not only moved his ball a few feet, he also uncovered another ball that was buried beneath his own, somehow moving that one farther than his own.
The whole thing reminded me of the time in high school golf where my teammate J.C.'s ball had trickled into one of the many algae-filled lakes at Olivas Links, our home course an hour north of LA which was recently re-designed and made a heck of a lot of fun. (You can usually find a good rate for it on my favorite golf course finder.) So. J.C.'s ball is sitting a good two inches beneath the surface of the water and his initial reaction was to take the penalty and drop, but we convinced him that it was totally playable.
"Just pretend the water isn't there," we said. "Oh, and swing hard." J.C. grabs a short iron, hovers his club above the lake and swings as hard as he can. The club never even touched the ball. But it sent a wave of water over J.C., drenching him in foul, reclaimed, muny water. As far as I know, J.C. never grew an extra toe or a tail, but we were all reminded that unless most of the ball is sitting above the water line, don't even try.