British Open hole by hole

By Associated PressJuly 10, 2010, 10:01 pm

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – A hole-by-hole look at the Old Course at St. Andrews, site of the 139th British Open starting on Thursday:

 

No. 1, 376 yards, par 4 (Burn): A short opening hole with no bunkers in the generous fairway, the only issue being the Swilcan Burn that runs down the right side of the fairway and across the face of the green. As with everything at St. Andrews, the wind dictates the ease of this hole. It can be a long iron off the tee and a lob wedge, or a driver and mid-iron. Players should avoid going after a hole location toward the front of the green.

No. 2, 453 yards, par 4 (Dyke): The ideal tee shot is a drive between Cheape’s bunker on the left at just over 300 yards from the tee and the edge of the rough on the right, which features thick gorse. Championship pin positions are often found on the high left side of the green beyond a sharp ridge that can throw the ball left into a deep bunker or right toward the lower level of the green.

No. 3, 397 yards, par 4 (Cartgate Out): Another good birdie opportunity in favorable conditions. The drive should be to the right side of the fairway, which is lined with three pot bunkers and small gorse bushes. That leaves the best angle to avoid Cartgate Bunker, which is shaped like a crescent and cuts deeply into the left side of the green. A small, subtle ridge in front of the green can produce strange kicks.

No. 4, 480 yards, par 4 (Ginger Beer): The options off the tee are to go straight at the flag down a narrow strip of fairway hemmed by dunes and gorse or to take the drive over mounds on the left, where the fairway widens to merge with the inward 15th hole. The farther left the tee shot, the more difficult the approach with a bunker on the left and the green sloping away to the right.

No. 5, 568 yards, par 5 (Hole O’Cross Out): Typically the easiest hole on the Old Course at most championships. One of only two par 5s, but easily reachable in two shots as long as the wind is not into the players’ faces. The tee shot must avoid seven bunkers on the right between 270 and 320 yards. The best place to lay up is between two spectacle bunkers. The sheer size of the green – 92 yards from front to back – can frustrate many birdie chances.

No. 6, 412 yards, par 4 (Heatherly Out): The tee shot is completely blind, so bunkers to the left and right are hidden as the hole drops to a lower level beyond the gorse-covered ridge. A hidden dip runs across the front of the green, making the approach shot deceptive. Still, it should be nothing more than a wedge to a relatively flat putting surface.

No. 7, 371 yards, par 4 (High Out): This starts the famous St. Andrews loop, a six-hole span of short par 4s and two par 3s. On the only true dogleg on the Old Course, most players will hit iron to a flat area beyond a large mound where the seventh and 11th holes cross. The green is guarded by Shell Bunker and slopes from left to right.

No. 8, 175 yards, par 3 (Short): The only par 3 on the outward nine, with the skyline of St. Andrews and its prominent towers and steeples on the horizon. Depending on the wind, this can be a short iron or a 5-iron. A large green is partly obscured by a ridge, and while relatively flat, the tough hole location is behind a vertical-faced bunker on the left side.

No. 9, 352 yards, par 4 (End): This might play as a long par 3 for some big hitters because the green is relatively flat with no trouble in front of it, making it reachable off the tee. Gorse bushes creep close to the left edge of the green, but there is a wide expanse of fairway between the gorse and two bunkers on the right.

No. 10, 386 yards, par 4 (Bobby Jones): In calm conditions, this is another par 4 that can be reached off the tee. The landing area is tighter, with rough to the left and two small bunkers on the right about 290 yards away. The green slopes much more than the ninth hole, falling away from a raised front.

No. 11, 174 yards, par 3 (High In): The final par 3, and far more intimidating than the other. It could be anything from a 9-iron to a 3-iron depending on the wind. The green is guarded by bunkers so severe that Bobby Jones once tore up his card after three swings in one of them. A ball in Strath Bunker in front of the green could require players to go backward. The green slopes severely to the front.

No. 12, 348 yards, par 4 (Heathery In): This short hole is deceptive because of four bunkers that are hidden from the tee. Craig Wood first drove the green in the 1933 Open, and Sam Snead did it in 1946. The hole location dictates the line of the tee shot. The top level of a two-tiered green is only 12 paces deep and demands utmost accuracy with the wedge. Look for most players to go for the green.

No. 13, 465 yards, par 4 (Hole O’Cross In): A brutal string of holes begins with a shot that must avoid a line of Coffin bunkers down the left side. The approach could require a long iron, which must carry the entire way to a green that is slightly elevated, and should stay left of the flag. A shallow hollow filled with rough on the left, and a deep bunker on the right, guard the entrance to the green.

No. 14, 618 yards, par 5 (Long): An out-of-bounds wall runs down the right side and a group of four Beardies bunkers on the left require a 250-yard carry. Into the wind, the second shot should be played toward the fifth fairway to avoid Hell Bunker. Into the wind, this is a three-shot par 5. The face of the green rises steeply before dropping away back and left.

No. 15, 455 yards, par 4 (Cartgate In): The Sutherland bunker in the middle of the fairway could be a factor into the wind. The fairway tightens at about 300 yards, and the drive should be aimed at the church steeple between two hillocks. The approach is open to a sloping green, but it should be a high shot to avoid the humps and bumps in front of the green.

No. 16, 423 yards, par 4 (Corner of the Dyke): The fence that marks the route of the old railway into St. Andrews runs down the right side of the entire hole, leaving only a narrow strip of fairway between the fence and a cluster of three bunkers called the Principal’s Nose. The drive should be left of those three bunkers to set up an open shot to a green that rises sharply at the front and is guarded by a bunker front and behind.

No. 17, 495 yards, par 4 (Road): The Road Hole is the most famous in the Open rotation with a reputation as the toughest par 4 in championship golf. An additional 40 yards means the drive should carry 260 yards over the replica railway sheds to reach the right edge of the fairway. Approach should be to the right half of the green to avoid the Road Hole Bunker. Anything long will result in a shot from the road behind the green.

No. 18, 357 yards, par 4 (Tom Morris): The closing hole is short, simple and dramatic. It can be reached from the tee, but a road runs along the right side, and shots toward the green – the first or the second – must carry a swale known as the “Valley of Sin.” The most famous part of the hole is the Swilcan Bridge.

Getty Images

Arizona caps an improbable journey with a title

By Ryan LavnerMay 24, 2018, 3:49 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Five hours before the final match at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Arizona coach Laura Ianello sat cross-legged on a couch in the Holiday Inn lobby and broke down four times in a half-hour interview.

It’s been that kind of exhausting season.

From poor play to stunning midseason defections to a stroke-play collapse, Ianello has felt uneasy for months. She has felt like she was losing control. Felt like her carefully crafted roster was coming apart.

So to even have a chance to win a NCAA title?

“I know what this team has gone through,” she said, beginning to tear up, “and you don’t get these opportunities all the time. So I want it for them. This could be so life-changing for so many of them.”

A moment that seemed impossible six months ago became reality Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Arizona continued its magical run through the match-play bracket and knocked off top-ranked Alabama to capture its third NCAA title, with junior Haley Moore – who first rose to fame by making the cut at an LPGA major as a 16-year-old – rolling in a 4-footer to earn the clinching point in extra holes.

All throughout nationals Arizona was fueled by momentum and adrenaline, but this was no Cinderella squad. The Wildcats were ranked ninth in the country. They won twice this spring. They had four medalists. They were one of the longest-hitting teams in the country.

But even before a miracle end to NCAA stroke play, Arizona needed some help just to get here.


NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Team scoring

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Individual scoring


On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, texted Ianello that she was turning pro. It may have been a gift to her parents, for their years of sacrifice, but it was a lump of coal in Ianello’s stocking.

“I was absolutely heartbroken,” she said. “It was devastating.”

Even more bad news arrived a few weeks later, when junior Gigi Stoll told Ianello that she was unhappy, homesick and wanted to return to Portland, Ore. Just like that, a promising season had gone off the rails.

Ianello offered her a full release, but Stoll looked around, found no other suitors and decided to remain with the team – as long as she signed a contract of expected behavior.

“It was the most exhausting two months of my life,” Ianello said. “We care so much about these freakin’ girls, and we’re like, Come on, this is just a small, little picture of your life, so you don’t realize what you’re possibly giving up. It’s so hard to see that sometimes.”

Stoll eventually bought in, but the rest of the team was blindsided by Quihuis’ decision.

“We became even more motivated to prove we were a great team,” said junior Bianca Pagdanganan.

It also helped that Yu-Sang Hou joined the squad in January. The morale immediately improved, not least because the players now could poke fun at Hou; on her fourth day on campus she nearly burned down the dorm when she forgot to add water to her mac-and-cheese.

Early on Ianello and assistant Derek Radley organized a team retreat at a hotel in Tucson. There the players created Oprah-inspired vision boards and completed exercises blindfolded and delivered 60-second speeches to break down barriers. At the end of the session, they created T-shirts that they donned all spring. They splashed “The Great Eight” on the front, put the state of Arizona and each player’s country of origin on the sleeves, and on the back printed their names and a slogan: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

“I can’t think of anything else that better embodies this team,” Radley said.

This spring, they rallied together and finished no worse than fourth in a tournament. Through three rounds of stroke play here at the NCAA Championship, they used their distance advantage and sat third in the standings. Then they shot 17 over par in the final round, tumbling outside the top-8 cut line.

They were down to their final chance on the 72nd hole, needing an eagle to tie, as Pagdanganan lined up her 30-footer. She dramatically drained the putt, then gathered her teammates on the range.

“This means we were meant to be in the top 8,” she said. Less than an hour later, they beat Baylor in the team playoff to earn the last match-play berth.

Ianello was so amped up from the frenetic finish that she slept only three hours on Monday night, but they continued to roll and knocked off top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals, beating a pair of Player of the Year contenders, Lilia Vu and Patty Tavatanakit, in the process. In the afternoon semifinals, they jumped all over Stanford and won easily.

It was a cute story, the last team into the match-play field reaching the final match, but a stiffer challenge awaited the Wildcats Wednesday.

Alabama was the top-ranked team in the country. The Tide were a whopping 110 under par for the season, boasting three first-team All-Americans who were so dominant in their first two matches that they trailed for only two of the 99 holes they played.

Ianello already seemed to be bracing for the result on the eve of the final match.

“Win or lose,” she said, “this has been a hell of a ride.”

But their wild ride continued Wednesday, as Hou won four holes in a row to start the back nine and defeat Alabama’s best player, Lauren Stephenson, who had the best single-season scoring average (69.5) in Division I history.

Then sophomore Sandra Nordaas – the main beneficiary after Quihuis left at the midway point of the season – held on for a 1-up victory over Angelica Moresco.

And so Arizona’s national-title hopes hinged on the success of its most mercurial player, Moore. In the anchor match against Lakareber Abe, Moore jumped out to a 2-up lead at the turn but lost the first three holes on the back nine.

By the time Radley sped back to help Moore, in the 12th fairway, she was frazzled.

“But seeing me,” Radley said, “I saw a sense of calm wash over her.”

Moore played solidly for the rest of the back nine and took a 1-up lead into the home hole. She didn’t flinch when Abe hit one of the shots of the entire championship – a smoked 3-wood to 12 feet to set up a two-putt birdie and force extras – and then gave herself 4 feet for the win on the first playoff hole. She sank the putt and within seconds was mobbed by her teammates.

In the giddy aftermath, Ianello could barely speak. She wandered around the green in a daze, looking for someone, anyone, to hug.

The most trying year of her career had somehow ended in a title.

“At some moments, it felt impossible,” she said. “But I underestimated these young women a little bit.”

Getty Images

Pac-12 continues to dominate women's golf

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 24, 2018, 3:04 am

Arizona's national women's golf championship marked the fourth consecutive year in‌ which the women's Division I national title was won by a Pac-12 Conference team. All four championships were won by different schools (Stanford, 2015; Washington, 2016; Arizona State, 2017; Arizona, 2018). The Pac-12 is the only conference to win four straight golf championships (men or women) with four different schools.

Here are some other statistical notes from the just-concluded NCAA Div. I Women's Golf Championship:

• This is the second time that Arizona has won the national title the year after rival Arizona State won it. The last time was 1996.

• Arizona now has three women's golf national championships. The previous two came in 1996 and 2000.

• Arizona is only the sixth school to win three or more Div. I women's golf championships, joining Arizona State (8), Duke (6), San Jose State (3), UCLA (3) and USC (3).

• Arizona's Haley Moore, who earned the clinching point on the 19th hole of her match with Alabama's Lakareber Abe, was the only Arizona player to win all three of her matches this week.

• Alabama's Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight also went 3-0. Gillman did not trail in any match.

• Since the match-play format was instituted in 2015, Arizona is the lowest seed (8) to claim the national title. The seeds claiming the national championship were Stanford (4) in 2015; Washington (4) in 2016; and Arizona State (3) in 2017.

Getty Images

High school seniors win U.S. Amateur Four-Ball

By Associated PressMay 24, 2018, 1:44 am

TEQUESTA, Fla. - The 18-year-old Hammer, from Houston, is set to play at Texas next fall. Barber, from Stuart, Fla., also is 18. He's headed to LSU.

''Growing up watching U.S. Opens and U.S. Amateurs on TV, I just knew being a USGA champion is something that I desperately wanted,'' said Hammer, who qualified for a U.S. Open three years ago at 15. ''And to finally do it, it feels incredible. It feels as good, if not better, than I thought it would. And especially being able to do it with Garrett. It's really cool to share this moment.''

Hammer and Cole won the par-4 eighth with a birdie to take a 2-up lead. They took the par-4 10th with a par, won the par-5 13th with an eagle - Barber hit a 4-iron from 235 yards to 3 feet - and halved the next two holes to end the match.

''Cole didn't want me to hit 4-iron,'' Barber said. ''He didn't think I could get it there. I was like, 'I got it.' So I hit it hard, hit pretty much a perfect shot. It was a crazy shot.''

The 32-year-old Dull is from Winter Park, Fla., and the 42-year-old Brooke from Altamonte Springs, Fla.

''Cole Hammer is a special player,'' Brooke said. ''Obviously, he's going to Texas (and) I'm not saying he is Jordan Spieth, but there are certain things that he does.''

In the morning semifinals, Hammer and Barber beat Idaho high school teammates Carson Barry and Sam Tidd, 5 and 4, and Brooke and Dull topped former Seattle University teammates Kyle Cornett and Patrick Sato, 4 and 3.

Getty Images

Watch: Pumped up Beef deadlifts 485 lbs.

By Grill Room TeamMay 24, 2018, 12:19 am

Andrew "Beef" Johnston has been playing some solid golf on the European Tour this season, and he is clearly pumped up for one of the biggest weeks of the year at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

Judging from the video below, Beef will have no problems lifting the trophy on Sunday as he reportedly deadlifted 220 kg ... (Googles kilogram to pounds converter, enters numbers) ... that's 485 lbs!

@beefgolf with a new deadlift PB 220kg ! #youcantgowronggettingstrong

A post shared by ETPI (@etpi_performanceunit) on