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Sinister 17th takes toll

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – This must be what the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews had in mind when the guardians dug up centuries of tradition and extended the storied Road Hole by some 40 yards.

Midway through the second round the 17th hole is playing to a devilish 4.666 stroke average, is ranked the hardest on the course and has allowed just a single birdie compared to the 12 bogeys and three “others” that have been carded.

Scott Verplank was among Friday’s victims. After leaking his tee shot into the garden behind the Old Course Hotel he hacked his fourth shot just 50 yards and made a triple bogey-7. Paul Casey also signed for 7, costing him a spot among the leaders after a front-nine 31.