Hoylake’s brand new 17th hole is 136 yards of sheer terror and could be ‘pivotal’ to the outcome of The Open on Sunday afternoon – welcome to the card wrecker

new balance


Hoylake’s brand new 17th hole is 136 yards of sheer terror and could be ‘pivotal’ to the outcome of The Open on Sunday afternoon – welcome to the card wrecker

  • Padraig Harrington says it one of the most beautiful par threes he has ever seen
  • Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster has branded the 17th hole a ‘monstrosity’
  • Players have been working together in practice to try and figure out strategy 

Two-time Open winner Padraig Harrington calls it one of the most beautiful par threes he has ever seen, something to place alongside the famed Postage Stamp at Royal Troon.

See also  Fans are getting behind Tiger Woods as he begins to struggle after returning to action

Meanwhile, BBC stalwart Ken Brown — veteran of 14 Opens and five Ryder Cups — has his own view of Hoylake’s brand new 17th hole. ‘It could be a card wrecker,’ Brown tells Mail Sport as he stands by the side of the green, the Dee Estuary shimmering over his left shoulder.

‘It’s going to be a very exciting hole. Players have been coming through here for the first time looking at the best place to miss the green. That tells you everything given that it’s such a short hole. It will be absolutely fascinating to watch.’

The 17th green sits at the western tip of the Hoylake links. Until a few years ago, it was land occupied by the 15th tee. Now the shortest hole on the course, it represents 136 yards of sheer terror.

With a huge expanse of sand at the front, deep bunkers left and right and scrubland to the rear, the elevated green is only half the size of most on the course and appears like an upturned saucer when viewed from the tee.

73357673 12312589 image a 67 1689715600629

Players have been working together in practice to try and figure out strategy

See also  Dustin Johnson hints he hurt his back in a bedroom incident with wife Paulina Gretzky

Players have been working together in practice to try and figure out strategy

The members at Royal Liverpool are divided about such a dramatic change to their 154-yearold course. The players this week are similarly split. Defending champion Cameron Smith said he was looking forward to the ‘drama’ while world No 9 Matt Fitzpatrick said only that it was ‘interesting’.

Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster, meanwhile, was rather more candid. ‘They’ve created a monstrosity,’ Foster said.

Named ‘Little Eye’ after one of the little islands visible from the putting surface, Harrington played it in the run-up to the Open and said what happens there on Sunday afternoon could be ‘pivotal’ to the tournament.

Brown, who’s walked thousands of holes in his role as ‘Ken on the Course’ for the BBC, explained: ‘It’s a hole that tests everybody. Really you are aiming at the middle of the green but that’s easier said than done. It’s sheltered on the tee. You don’t feel the wind.

See also  Australia's biggest PGA drawcard Cameron Smith was dumped out early in a teary exit - here's why this opens the door for a box office battle between local champions

‘The front bunker isn’t too bad but the other places, well, they are not very kind. If you plug it in a bunker and leave it in — or you go from one side to the other — you could easily run up a six.

‘If there is no wind and the green is soft it’s a nudge with a wedge or a nine iron. It’s not a hard hole. But any kind of wind and it’s a different story.’

Marshalls working the hole this week have observed players working together in practice to try and figure out strategy. One group of three played three balls each from the tee and not one of them found the green.

‘They want drama here,’ said Harrington. ‘But if you are leading the Open on the 17th tee on Sunday, drama



new balance



Source link