AUSTIN, Texas – A well-designed golf hole makes players think and No. 13 at Austin Country Club certainly prompted plenty of contemplation on Saturday.
The par-4 13th played to just 280 yards but that still didn’t leave an obvious choice – attempt to drive the green or layup – for most players. For Billy Horschel, who laid up to 83 yards in the quarterfinals like he’s done all week, it’s pretty simple.
“I just don't see hitting driver or 3-wood there,” Horschel said. “I know Sergio [Garcia] has hit some unbelievable shots I've saw on TV and some guys have hit some great shots, but if you miss it, it's a tough little chip, and so I just always felt that, especially with my wedge game being decent this week that at worst I was going to have maybe 15 feet for birdie.”
Garcia had feasted at No. 13 all week, making eagle there after driving the green in the morning Sweet 16 match and playing the hole in 5 under through the first four rounds. In the quarterfinals, however, the Spaniard hit his drive left and into a water hazard. He lost the hole and the match, 4 and 3, to Victor Perez.
Conversely, Tommy Fleetwood had laid up on the 13th all week but decided with a 1-up lead over Horschel in their quarterfinal match to attempt to drive the green and found the hazard. Although he halved the hole when Horschel three-putted for bogey the Englishman lost the match.