Ocean Course – the battleground of the 103rd major PGA Championship – has repeatedly witnessed golf failures on the penultimate hole.
The “17th stage”, par3 has a lake stretching from the beginning of the hole to the end of the green and covers the right part of the hole and two deep sand areas occupy the left. This hole held the top in difficulty throughout the first three rounds of this year’s PGA Championship. It’s par3 but when it’s overtaken, the average player loses at least 3.38 strokes.
In the design of legendary architect Pete Dye, the 17th hole can reach a maximum length of 230 yards. But in this year’s PGA Championship second round, the peg was set for 223 yards. With that distance, Erik Van Rooyen hit the rough grass. The ball bounced to the right and fell into the lake. Unable to contain his frustration, he twice hit the head of the iron on the tee marker. It only withstands the first hit and “booms” after the second. The weapon also flies to the head. This pool bath led to a triple bogey, leaving Van Rooyen out of the weekend.
At the same location, Cameron Tringale also plays into the lake. After dropping the ball on the putting green with a penalty stroke, he replayed the ball into the bunker next to the green, 21 meters from the target. He escaped, 1.5 meters away, but lost three putts. From start to finish, Tringale lost seven strokes on hole 17 – quintuple bogey.
“Hole 17 is always the ultimate test of nerves,” said Adam Scott – 2013 major Masters champion. And on high alert, Scott kept the par for two rounds. However, he was cut after 36 holes.
In 1991, Ocean Stadium hosted the Ryder Cup – the world’s most attractive team tournament between the US and Europe less than a month after the inauguration ceremony.
US player Mark Calcavecchia played a duel with Colin Montgomerie on the final day of the tournament. On the 17th hole, Calcavecchia with the advantage of 2 up, seemed to be sure of winning the match when the opponent played into the lake.
Even so, Calcavecchia’s headshot also entered the lake. He closed the bogey and lost the 17th hole, then lost the 18th hole. At the end of the match with a draw, both sides split points.
Calcavecchia thought he made the home team lose the Cup, so they went to the sea to cry. The emotional outburst made it difficult for him to breathe and needed medical help. When the US team won, Calcavecchia was healthy again.
Hole 17 would have been easier if architect Dye had not listened to his wife and colleague – Alice. When the yard was about to be finished, she told her husband to add a water trap to hole 17.
“There was no lake at first, but Alice thought it would be better to add it to make the end of the round more dramatic. Since the Ryder Cup players easily escaped the bunker, we dug a 3.23-hectare lake for a trap,” said Dye. later written in autobiography. Alice died on February 1, 2019, aged 91, and Dye died nearly a year after his wife, aged 94.
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