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Final two Open Championship holes baffling pros at Royal Liverpool: ‘Unfair to everybody’

Many storylines, together with an novice Christo Lamprecht tied for the lead, at The Open Championship from Royal Liverpool have come from Day One of many historic match.

However one factor is for positive: Holes 17 and 18 at Royal Liverpool are a “monstrosity,” in accordance with Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie, Billy Foster.

When the match teed off on Thursday, the course’s closing two holes had been a nightmare for a lot of golfers, as treacherous bunkers across the inexperienced took victims left and proper.


Justin Thomas of the USA reacts on the 14th gap on Day One among The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership on July 20, 2023 in Hoylake, England. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Photographs)

The primary on 17 — a model new, quick par-3 at 138 yards — requires a exact tee shot that has a direct line to the pin. If not, the golfer will possible discover themselves in one of many bunkers stationed across the supposed goal.

In fact, with winds swirling round Hoylake, it’s exhausting to be as exact because the golfer needs.

Then, it’s time for the driving force with a 599-yard 18th and closing gap for the spherical. There’s a number of out of bounds areas to cope with off the tee. Extra bunkers await the golfer on their strategy pictures as nicely.


“I’d say it’s truthful, as a result of it’s unfair to all people,’’ Jon Rahm stated by way of Yahoo! Sports activities previous to the match. “Prefer it’s golf, and it’s life. Easy as that. All of us must play the identical holes. In case you hit shot, you’ll positively most definitely have a birdie probability. If not, you’ll cope with it. I get you’re going for that on a championship Sunday.

“You may have a one-shot lead, that gap will be pivotal.”

Lucas Herbert realized shortly at Gap 17 how exhausting these bunkers are to flee after he aired his tee shot over the inexperienced, saying it was “fairly exhausting to really feel the wind.” He ended up with a triple bogey after his first try out of the sand went awry, and he got here into the opening with the lead at 3-under.

Phil Mickelson was one other who struggled on the seventeenth, discovering it exhausting to get out of the bunker on his first strive as nicely.

For Brooks Koepkaalthough, he doesn’t thoughts the problem and thinks the seventeenth is definitely fairly enjoyable.

Rickie Fowler hits out of bunker

Rickie Fowler of The US performs his third shot on the eighth gap throughout the first spherical of The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership on July 20, 2023 in Hoylake, England. (David Cannon/Getty Photographs)

“I prefer it,” he instructed Yahoo! Sports activities. “I’m a giant believer within the quick par-3s — make it troublesome, precisely like that. I feel all one of the best par 3s on the earth which have ever been designed are 165 yards or shorter.

“Simply don’t hit it over there, and also you gained’t have an issue, proper?”

However the 18th noticed some brutal tee pictures and lies within the greenside bunkers from quite a few golfers, together with Rickie Fowler. Hospitality tents and room for spectators makes it a slim tee shot, and Fowler discovered himself out of bounds not as soon as, however twice. He would end his spherical with a triple bogey to go 1-over on the day.

There was additionally Justin Thomas’s implosion, as his current play continues to falter at majors. He scored a depraved quadruple bogey after he couldn’t keep out of the bunkers, hitting out from one to the opposite and even duffing a pitch shot again in.


He’s in peril to overlook one other main minimize with an 82 posted in his first spherical.

Rory McIlroy nearly suffered the identical destiny as his friends when he was trapped within the bunker at 18. He tried to hit it out the primary time and failed, however with one leg in and one leg laid on the grass outdoors, he managed to get his ball near the opening with an opportunity to save lots of par.

A fist pump got here out after he knocked in his par putt, ending even on the day.

Usually, you don’t see reactions like that on the primary day of any match, however that fist pump reveals how exhausting it’s for these golfers to get the job accomplished.

Rory McIlroy reacts

Rory McIlroy of Northern Eire reacts on the twelfth inexperienced on Day One among The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Membership on July 20, 2023 in Hoylake, England. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Photographs)


These two ending holes will proceed to pester these professionals and amateurs for the subsequent three days. However, like Rahm stated, it’s for everyone to endure.

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Revealed : 2023-07-21 04:57:17

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