Speaking ahead of LIV Golf Tulsa, Phil Mickelson said the seventh, a par 5 that plays as a par 4 for the men in the NCAAs, is one of the more demanding holes on the course. “You have to hit a good tee shot, and that’s not easy,” he said. Playing a little more than 500 yards, there’s a narrow landing area in the fairway, and the green penalizes shots that don’t find the right tier. It has played as the second-toughest hole each of the past two championships. “It’s early in the round, but it can really sway momentum,” Lefty said.
The scorecard yardage reads 405 for the penultimate hole, but it’s when the tees get moved up that makes it vital. When those tees are pushed up, like they will be for stroke and match play at some point, it makes it a driveable hole. It’s a tight entry to the front of the green, but strong tee shots will be rewarded. Birdies will be plentiful. In 2021, there were as many birdies as bogeys and doubles combined, but the hole played a bit tougher in 2022. Down the stretch, this hole has the potential to flip a match or put one out of reach, similar to the women.
The closing hole is a par 5 for the women, but it’s a behemoth par 4 for the men, playing at 525 yards. The past two years, it has been the most difficult hole by far, playing more than a half stroke over par (4.56 in 2021, 4.58 in 2022). In 1,104 rounds, there have been only 39 birdies (and a lucky eagle). Par is a good score coming in, but whether it’s match play or stroke play, nothing is guaranteed on the closing hole.
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