Home Golf Risk-reward takes on new meaning on Austin Country Club’s ‘goofy’ 13th hole

Risk-reward takes on new meaning on Austin Country Club’s ‘goofy’ 13th hole


AUSTIN, Texas – Be alert for foul balls!

Such is a warning that one would count on to see whereas watching the Spherical Rock Specific, the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, which competes a few half-hour north of Austin. However the people down south at Austin Nation Membership might have to put up related signage on the par-4 thirteenth gap.

And followers might wish to deliver their gloves.

The 285-yard drivable gap, nicknamed “Cape Dye,” is arguably essentially the most entertaining gap on property, and thus deserving of the huge buildout across the inexperienced. However along with internet hosting lots of of spectators, the hospitality tents are seeing loads of motion from the gamers – particularly their golf balls – as risk-reward has taken on new which means.

With a 20-mph wind howling on the gamers’ backs off the tee, about half the sector on Thursday on the WGC-Dell Match Play swung for the fences.

None of these balls discovered the placing floor.

Nearly a dozen and a half sailed into the stands, requiring these gamers to take free reduction.

“Probably one of the best drivable par-4s for match play,” mentioned Brooks Koepka, who nonetheless determined to put up on Friday. “You’ve really just got to sack up and hit a shot. … But those tents back there obviously stop it, so guys can just blast it in.”

Matches and scoring from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship

In regular circumstances, or perhaps a crosswind, gamers are given the choice to form pictures that may cease on the inexperienced. Friday’s wind, nevertheless, made such an accomplishment practically unattainable. Bryson DeChambeau was the closest, however even he discovered the golf green reduce 37 ft, 11 inches away.

DeChambeau accounted for considered one of 11 birdies made at No. 13 on Day 2, and of these 11 birdies, eight have been made after the participant went for the inexperienced with three of these (by Daniel Berger, Sepp Straka and Will Zalatoris) coming after free drops.

Conversely, lay-ups produced 5 of the seven bogeys that have been tallied.

“With the wind blowing straight down like it is, I mean, if you lay it up you’ve got a hard time getting it close,” mentioned Dustin Johnson, whose drive carried the inexperienced, hit off some steps and splashed into the water. He made an 11-footer to avoid wasting par. “As we speak, I felt like I simply caught it off the toe a contact, however I nonetheless thought my ball was going to be again within the nook, however it truly bounced off the steps and went within the water. However if you happen to can preserve it left of the flag right this moment and lengthy, it is a simple chip again into the wind.

“… It’s a little goofy, but there’s no really good spot to hit it because it’s about impossible to hit it on the green.” 

Added Jon Rahm, who opted to put up earlier than practically rinsing his method and scrambling to avoid wasting par: “I feel like the only chance of stopping it on the green is hitting the pin, otherwise you’re in the back, most likely not going to stay in the fairway, and you’re going to be against the grandstands dropping on dormant Bermuda on a downhill lie. It’s a great par-4. You can hit a 7-iron and still have a tough shot with a wedge shot or go for it and kind of hope for the best.”

Unhealthy pictures from second spherical of WGC-Dell Match Play

Whereas the opening nonetheless calls for numerous thought on the tee field as gamers should weigh the dangers of each going for it or laying again – particularly contemplating the opening bends left round Lake Austin – the tents reduce the penalty for blowing one lengthy and proper. Balls that will usually must be performed from off the ShotLink planet are positioned both simply behind the inexperienced or again in the appropriate tough with an excellent angle into the inexperienced.

Living proof: Tyrrell Hatton’s drive bounced off the roof of one of many tents like a trampoline and traveled 366 yards earlier than coming to relaxation within the fifteenth fairway some 90 yards behind the inexperienced. He then dropped again within the tough proper of the golf green and had about 100 yards in for his second shot.

He ultimately tapped in for a simple par, although regardless of the break, Hatton nonetheless took some situation.

“It would be nice if there were some actual drop zones around where all the hospitality is, [so you’re not] ending up having to drop it in some stupid places,” Hatton mentioned. “Having to go 100 yards back around to try and find a point to drop, when most places you would play there would be a drop zone nearby. Certainly for me, I was on the fairway on 15, obviously yeah, you don’t want to be there, but then I’m having to drop it on a point on a massive downslope, ball below my feet, wind maybe off the left, maybe down. Yeah, it’s kind of not ideal.”

Lee Westwood, who laid up Friday and but nonetheless needed to convert an up-and-down par from 80 yards, has no downside with the opening or the drop guidelines, however that doesn’t imply he lacks for concern.

“I think it’s a great hole,” Westwood mentioned. “The one factor I do not like about it’s the hazard to the gang. Clearly, there’s the tents there and there is the choice to hit 3-wood off there or driver off there and simply clatter it into these tents, and then you definately get a drop out and a chip onto the inexperienced. … That is the issue. You crash it into these right-hand stands, it endangers individuals after which you have to drop in a great spot on the sting of the inexperienced.

“Like I say, thinking about it now, I can’t figure out what needs to be done, but something clearly needs to be done.”

Maybe a number of indicators or some catchers’ mitts?

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