Hole by hole for the US Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 7, 2014 at 11:30 am •  Published: June 6, 2014
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PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) — A hole-by-hole look at Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 114th U.S. Open to be played June 12-15:

No. 1, 402 yards, par 4: The opening hole has all the appearances of a birdie opportunity, provided the shots are precise. Most players will a long iron off the tee to keep is short of where the fairway narrows, leaving about 140 yards to the green. The left side is now sandy with wire brush plants. It's a vintage Donald Ross domed green, so the wedge or short iron has to be exact or it will roll away from the hole.

No. 2, 507 yards, par 4: This was the toughest hole to par in 2005, and it might be again. The landing area is twice as large, but the green is severe for the length of the hole and players will be using a mid-iron. The ideal drive is down the left side when the hole location is on the right side of the green. The putting surface has a pronounced hump in the front that will repel approach shots that are slightly short.

No. 3, 387 yards, par 4: This could feature a forward tee to tempt players to drive the green, though it would require a sharp left-to-right shot because of trees down the right side. From the regular tee, players will lay up short of the bunker on the right with a long iron. The green is elevated and missing in any direction will make for a tough par, particularly if shots go long.

No. 4, 529 yards, par 4: This played as a par 5 in the previous two U.S. Opens. Now it's the longest par 4 at Pinehurst, though it's manageable because of the downhill tee shot. It bends slightly to the left off the tee, with bunkers on each side of the landing area and the natural, sandy look down both sides. The large green is receptive to a long iron, though a bunker protects the left side. The pitch of the green is from right-to-left.

No. 5, 576 yards, par 5: This played as a 472-yard par 4 in 2005 and now becomes a risk-reward par 5. The hole features a dogleg to the left at the end. Most players will have a chance to go for the green in two, though they will have a downhill, sidehill lie for the second shot because of the slant in the fairway. Laying back leaves a wedge to an elevated green, one of the toughest at Pinehurst.

No. 6, 219 yards, par 3: The first par 3 is no picnic. It will require at least a medium iron that must carry a crease at the front that is 4 feet below the putting surface. It also features one of the deepest bunkers on the course to the left. Hole locations at the front of the green will be the most demanding because the green is extremely fast from back to front.

No. 7, 424 yards, par 4: The tee shot sets up the hole, and it most likely will be a long iron or fairway metal. The hole moves sharply from left to right, though taking off too much could put the ball in the dunes and wire brush. The approach with a short iron is to a green protected by a deep bunker on the right. A plateau on the putting surface toward the front and left allows for a tough hole location.

No. 8, 502 yards, par 4: A new tee adds about 35 yards to this long par 4. It's a straightforward hole, but the fairway has pronounced movements — downhill and to the right, and then uphill and to the left. A strong tee shot leaves a mid-iron, though players must avoid going left or long and catching a slope that drops them nearly 10 feet below the putting surface.

No. 9, 191 yards, par 3: The shortest of the par 3s is deceptive because of two sections to the green and a deep bunker in the front. The left side of the green appears small from the tee box, but it is relatively flat. The front section to the right has more slope to hit. Shots that miss long and left will bounce away from the green and leave a very difficult chip.

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