DUBLIN, Ohio – Earlier this week during his “State of the Golden Bear” news conference, Jack Nicklaus suggested it may be time to add some real estate to Muirfield Village’s closing hole. On Friday he further alluded to the need for a new tee at the finale.
“Every time I look on television, I look down and see all those bunkers along 18 and I don't think it's a pretty look,” Nicklaus told The Associated Press. “It looks like something I had to do to protect the hole. All the other holes on the golf course are basically played the way they were designed. Eighteen is the only hole where they are able to circumvent the design. They take it over the corner and get it out there.”
But a new tee at the 18th, which would add about 30 yards to the hole, did not exactly receive universal endorsements from some PGA Tour players.
“That’s fine, just make the green bigger. You can’t just take. You have to give a little too,” Ernie Els said. “He’s just taking. ... Some of the holes are just getting ridiculous.”
Tiger Woods might have echoed Els’ assessment had he talked to the media Saturday. The world No. 1 made a triple-bogey 7 at the 18th in Round 3 after bouncing his second and third shots off the green’s false front and three-putting from above the hole.
Muirfield Village’s 18th hole ranked as the fourth-toughest during last year’s Memorial with a 4.243 average.