KEY HOLES AC­CORD­ING TO THE CHAMP

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - JAC­QUES V/D WESTHUYZEN

DEFENDING cham­pion Bran­don Stone says mak­ing a good start is al­ways cru­cial, so num­bers 1 and 2 are key for him, but it’s re­ally 13, 14 and 15 – what they call “Amen Cor­ner of Glen­dower” – where things can change quickly. It’s the busi­ness part of the course, ac­cord­ing to Stone ... an in­cred­i­ble stretch of holes where any­thing can hap­pen. If you come through those three a cou­ple un­der par then you’ve done okay. Right, let’s look at Stone’s five key holes.

The First, 407m, par 4 – “Blue Crane”

You ob­vi­ously need to make a good start. It’s pretty straight, but you have to avoid the fair­way bunker on the right, while the green is pro­tected by a bunker in front and wa­ter on the left.

The Sec­ond, 509m, par 5 – “Barn Owl”

It’s a tricky hole; not the long­est, but mak­ing birdie is not a given. It’s tight and de­mand­ing off the tee, with wa­ter all along the left. The green is pro­tected by wa­ter on the left and a bunker on the right.

The 13th, 522m, par 5 – “Spar­rowhawk”

The start of “Amen Cor­ner” – a risk and re­ward hole. If you’re on the right side of the fair­way you can have a go in two, but it’s a daunt­ing ap­proach, be it with a long iron or fair­way wood, be­cause the green is sur­rounded by wa­ter. A great hole.

The 14th, 158m, par 3 – “Lit­tle Swift”

A down­hill tee shot to a green sur­rounded by bunkers. The green is two-tiered which makes for a tough putt.

The 15th, 500m, par 5 – “Crested Bar­bet”

Not the long­est, but there’s wa­ter all the way down the left, and there are bunkers left and right of the fair­way. The green is also well bunkered, with many slopes and dif­fer­ent lev­els, which makes for a tough putt. A very chal­leng­ing hole. —

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