Why the 14th hole at The Country Club could end up being the face of the US Open

We come again to Scott for a second, however first, a historical past lesson about this large hole. As an ode to Boston’s a part of the Revolutionary Struggle, when the 14th century was being constructed within the Nineteen Twenties, officers noticed all of the bunkers on the hill and the title was a no brainer.

And the dearth of a straightforward probability at this 122nd US Open is a celebration to cheer. If you happen to’re detached about these courageous execs of hitting the chauffeur, 7-iron to five instances week after week, increase your hand. If you happen to missed the times when gamers had been really fascinated about hitting the ball, shake the tambourine.

Then after you set your hand down and the tambourines are silenced, run to the highlights of the primary spherical and research the wonders of this 14th gap. lovely issues.

Sure, it ranked second best within the first spherical, averaging 4.833, however earlier than you go any additional, guess which gap was the simplest? Ranked seventeenth and 18th for Par-5s is a positive wager as NBA facilities rank statistically taller than the jockeys.

Neglect the stats – please! – and research the dynamics at Bunker Hill. (Hey, they do not use the unique title a lot anymore, however for right now’s functions, we’ll do this). If you happen to want to put a face to the primary American Open Tour in 34 years at The Nation Membership, it’s right here humbly prompt that we consult with the fourteenth.

why? “As a result of quite a bit can go flawed,” Scott stated, a blanket may be thrown over all 18 holes at The Nation Membership. However in some other hole, the premium in a tee shot is as essential as 14.

Shane Lowry was among the many golfers who had been baffled by the 14th gap on Thursday at The Nation Membership.Patrick Smith/Getty Photographs

“Individuals requested me what holes I used to be most thinking about watching?” “I would say 14 and 17,” stated Jill Hansey, who has overseen a number of modifications and upgrades to the Nation Membership’s mixed cycle since 2010.

Hansey stated a concerted effort to “put a premium on the tee shot” was massively profitable on the 14th as a result of it carries a lot weight. Gamers drool on longer holes, and if making a ghost at stage 5 unanimously is hate #1, then hate quantity 2 equals a 5.

When Scott drove it on the left, overlook going into the inexperienced in two, “I needed to get it out of there,” he stated. The wedge was the most secure selection, however it will have left it greater than 200 yards within the inexperienced. Subsequently, he grew to become “aggressive” and hit a 9 iron.

“I managed to get it out of there about 130 yards,” Scott smiled, and sure, he was pleased with the shot, though a 9 iron might typically be his 150-yard shot.

The chance of that second shot of roughness is double. You possibly can’t get sufficient of a stick on it to hit a flat plateau and a brief wedge. And you must deliver it again into play with out working it too far as your third shot will probably be uphill and blind.

One critical problem and one ensuing from lacking the green, however in that, Scott wasn’t alone. Solely 55 p.c of the sector hit the precise lane at 14, and 22 p.c of the sector missed the inexperienced within the laws, a worrying quantity at 5 bar.

Ah, however that is not a typical equal. This can be a brilliantly designed gap and will have been the crowning piece for Undertaking Hanse, Jim Wagner and their crew Caveman when it was determined over 10 years in the past that The Nation Membership wanted a little bit extra energy to get the US Open.

“We mentioned which is healthier, 5, 10 or 14,” Hansey stated.

With much less room to maneuver the tenth tee, the choice was made to maintain that stage 4 that might play for as much as 500 yards (within the first spherical, the sector common was 4.391 and third performed tougher). Discovered on the 14th, the brand new tee was prolonged to over 600 yards and fitted with classic Hanse aesthetics to maintain you uncomfortable, and whereas it handed the take a look at within the 2013 US Novice, this US Open was a special animal.

Gary Woodland performs a bunker shot on the 14th gap in the course of the first spherical on Thursday at The Nation Membership.Patrick Smith/Getty Photographs

And on Thursday, he was a fantastic, feral animal, and he outdid an extended listing of gamers.

Do not cease at no double bogey or worse. Do not overstate the 39 birds or eagles that had been made, one was a 40-yard pit gap from newbie bunker Billy Moe of Pepperdine, and the opposite was a 53-foot-tall by Taylor Montgomery.

Give attention to this: the 13 gamers who completed 2 below or higher mixed to play 14 in simply 3 below.

This isn’t very spectacular. Which speaks volumes about The Nation Membership’s brilliance and why the 14th would be the face of this event.

Someplace, I feel Milton native Invoice Flynn, who charted the 14th, and Frances Oymet, in opposition to whom Flynn performed schoolboy matches, are smiling heartily.