US Open Golf Scores 2012: Analyzing the Scarce Birdie Holes at Olympic Club
The U.S. Open never carelessly extends birdies to the field, but Olympic Club has been especially stingy through the first two rounds of competition this year.
Only two holes currently average an under-par scoring average, serving as the scarce holes in which players have a relatively good chance to make a birdie.
While the rest of the arduous course will be under scrupulous analysis on Saturday and Sunday, let's take a look at the momentum-shifting holes that could yield birdies in crunch time.
No. 7: 288-yard Par 4 (Scoring average: 3.83)
With the short length of the Par 4 7th comes added drama.
Some players look to bomb a 3-wood or control a drive to the front of the green that's guarded by deep bunkers.
If an iron is pulled from the bag on the tee shot, most golfers won't have much more than a pitching wedge in hand on their approach.
The two-tiered green isn't impossible to navigate, but it certainly isn't easy to lag long putts. It'll be interesting to watch how players in contention decide to approach this short par 4 that comes after a demanding six-hole start.
No. 10: 424-yard Par 4 (Scoring average: 4.08)
Though the drive is challenging, and many players will use driver on this hole, the approach shot shouldn't be long and the green is rather welcoming.
The guys who are comfortable shaping the ball from left-to-right after a distinct advantage on this whole and can take dead aim on the hole that begins the easier back nine.
No. 17: 522-yard Par 5 (Scoring average: 4.77)
The fairway cants drastically from left-to-right, meaning a tee shot must be hit in the left-third of the fairway for it to stay in the short grass after rolling.
From there, players will be faced with a critical decision—do they grab the long iron, hybrid or fairway metal and attempt to reach the green in two, or do they lay up and leave a more accurate wedge for their third shot?
The closely mown collection area to the right of the green could be a popular spot this weekend. Thus far, this hole is statistically the easiest on the course.
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