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Reviews mixed over retooled 18th

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – During an interview with Whistling Straits owner Herb Kohler last week he said the ongoing tinkering to the Straits Course’s 18th hole should result in some late-round fireworks if not more birdies, but players getting a peek at the tweaked finisher this week are not so sure.

At issue is the finger of fairway down the left side that, if taken, could cut off much of the hole’s 500 yards and leave a player with a short iron or wedge into the green. The problem is a player would have to carry the ball 311 yards, uphill and probably into a prevailing wind to an extremely narrow fairway to take the route.

“A guy like J.B. (Holmes) would have to have some help (wind) and would probably run through (the fairway) and into trouble,” Charles Howell III said early Tuesday as he played the hole. “Most guys will play down the right (of the fairway).”

Luckily for Whistling Straits fans, Kohler did say he and designer Pete Dye will be back at work tinkering on Aug. 20.