SI Vault
 
PGA Tour CONFIDENTIAL
Michael Bamberger
July 12, 2010
Does the Old Course live up to its rep? Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Road Hole? Should we be upbeat or downbeat about Phil Mickelson? Is the U.S. Open champ a one-hit wonder? And who is going to win golf's oldest major?
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July 12, 2010

Pga Tour Confidential

Does the Old Course live up to its rep? Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Road Hole? Should we be upbeat or downbeat about Phil Mickelson? Is the U.S. Open champ a one-hit wonder? And who is going to win golf's oldest major?

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Van Sickle: The 60- and 64-degree wedge took out some of the fear of that greenside bunker too.

Shipnuck: Didn't David Duval have an episode in there? [At the 2005 Open, Duval dropped from contention after taking four shots to escape the Road Hole Bunker.]

Van Sickle: That's not to say you can't still find yourself in jail there.

Hack: If they hadn't lengthened the hole, no one would hit into that bunker. At least now it should be more in play.

Van Sickle: At the 1989 Dunhill Cup pro-am, my pro was a total unknown from Argentina, Eduardo Romero. He was playing the Old Course for the first time and shot an easy 66 because he listened to his caddie. Romero was actually on the road at the Road Hole behind the green, and his caddie told him to use his putter. Romero holed it, one of the most amazing shots I've ever seen.

Anonymous Pro: I don't want to sound negative, but I agree with what Rich Beem said in '05: There are 17 great holes at the Old Course, and the Road Hole. That hole is too quirky. Does making the hole longer really make it better? I don't think so. But if you want to see some 8s and 9s, it's the place to go.

Shipnuck: There are some great holes. The par-5 14th is fantastic. The drive on 18 is one of golf's coolest shots. It's not difficult, you just rip it, but you have the old buildings, the road, the R&A clubhouse and usually a hundred stray people standing around in the background on any given day.

Bamberger: I'll see your tee shot on 18 and raise you the approach shot on 18. On that shot you have to flirt with the Valley of Sin. And we all know what Costantino Rocca did there in 1995. And Nicklaus. And Doug Sanders. I think that shot is one of the most magical moments in golf.

Anonymous Pro: Absolutely, the 18th is pretty cool. On top of all that, you can drive the green. You don't see many guys really screw up on the 18th, other than Sanders missing that short putt. It's not the hole itself, it's the theater that surrounds the 18th that makes it cool.

Hack: My favorite hole is the 11th, the par-3. It gives the players fits. Monty [Colin Montgomerie] made bogey there every day in the '05 Open. I watched David Sutherland play it, which I remember because he had Sacramento Kings headcovers.

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