DUBLIN, Ohio – Much of the talk at Muirfield Village on Tuesday was about the lengthened 18th hole, featuring a new teebox well behind where it’s previously been.
“I didn't build it for the Presidents Cup,” Jack Nicklaus said. “I built it because I said I was tired of seeing guys drive over the nine bunkers that we put out there. “I never dreamed that we could get that tee back there as nicely as we have done it back there, and we do. It really makes the 18th hole a hole that I've always enjoyed, loved playing, but as time has gone on, they kept hitting the ball further and further and driving over stuff.”
Some players who have been competing here for years were taken aback by the new location of the teebox.
“The 18th tee is certainly different being further back,” Tiger Woods said. “We see less of the fairway. From what I was told previously before seeing it today, that it was raised up a little bit higher than what I thought, and I thought you could see more of the fairway, but you see probably two-thirds into the landing area and you can see all the way to the base of the tree which is 280. You can see all that, but short of that, you really can't.”
“I don't know how much it cost Jack Nicklaus or the members, but I can imagine it cost a lot of money, because there was nothing back there as far as I remember,” Ernie Els said with a smile. “So he must have moved a lot of dirt, and then he had to re-design the road. But it's good. It's a good change. I mean, it plays more like it did 20 years ago.”