The Signature Hole

mulligan, 07 October 2005, Comments Off on The Signature Hole
Categories: Uncategorized

Sitting on a Thursday morning, I saw par after boring par on #18 at Harding Park, and I commented that it didn’t seem to be much of a trouble hole. Well, it is time to admit my wrongs:
1) #18, by the end of the day, was the hardest hole on the course. Sure, there were a lot of pars, but you also had a mass of three-putts, failed up-and-downs, and then some like Couples, who hit the longest drive of the day on that hole (344 yards), and still went on and double bogeyed. In fact, not one of the six players that hit their drive over 300 yards on 18 birdied it. But I watched Monty birdie it…all a matter of putting your irons on the right quadrant of the green. All week, every hole.
2) After the first day, on a day where conditions were benign and perfect for low scoring, the average score was more than a half-shot over par. The course is holding up well, and the players seem to have nothing but praises for it (outside of the 18th hole, which has taken a few punches from the players regarding its design). Even Hensby, who we know can spout off on things, predicted that the winning score would be around 6 under par, 6 strokes worse than any other player spoken to before the first round began.
3) At 7,000 yards, the course is short on paper. But it plays long in reality. Not a single birdie on #9. There hasn’t been hardly any wind yet, and 15-20 mph wind is not unusual. Remember, the 473 yard 6th, the 230 yard 8th, and the 474 yard 9th will play directly into the wind, and as it stands now, they are already playing long.
4) Daly may have been the longest driver of the day, including putting it on the green on the 349 yard par 4 7th hole, putting it oin the green-side bunker on #16 318 yard par 4, hitting a 325 yard drive on #18, and hitting a 332 yard drive on #16. But Tiger picked his holes, and hit some monster drives when he felt like it. He was the 2nd longest driver, depite being the shortest drive on one hole, and hitting irons off the tee on several occasions (Just for the record, he hit a 361 yard drive on #13…no other player came close to that distance on that hole, and only one other hit a longer drive during the day).
5) Colin has never won on American soil. Give him a break out there.


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