Hole of the week

- By Steve DiMeglio

Two years ago, Woods, who has won the Arnold Palmer Invitation­al six times, drained a 12-foot birdie putt in the dark on the par-4, 458-yard 18th hole to win the title. A year before, he knocked in a 24-footer for birdie on the same hole to win the title. In 2001, it was a 15-foot birdie on 18 that buried Phil Mickelson and gave Woods the title.

But the finishing hole at Bay Hill is more than a putting contest. Awide fairway awaits from the tee. There is plenty of trouble from there, especially the small, kidney-shaped green fronted by rocks and water and backed by three deep bunkers. Last year the 18th was the toughest hole at Bay Hill, playing to an average of 4.26. Though there were 43 birdies, there were 23 double-bogeys and seven of the dreaded “others.” Bay Hill’s 18th is one of this season’s Kodak Challenge holes, over which players compete for a $1 million prize.

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