KEY HOLES ACCORDING TO THE CHAMP
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. —