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Sandy spots of doom are everywhere at Royal Lytham
Not that seeing them makes avoiding them all that easy. At the 18th hole, for instance, there are 10 bunkers sprinkled across a wide range of possible landing areas, requiring an extremely precise tee shot.
The first four come rat-a-tat-tat, starting in the middle of the fairway and branching off to the right, about 200 to 250 yards out. Three more hug the left side _ boom, boom, boom. Farther down on the right, two tiny bunkers lurk ominously. Finally, if the wind turns and a player really cranks a drive, he might find himself deposited in the sand of last resort, seemingly carved out of the ground for no apparent reason some 350 yards away.
“I’m not sure it favors the longer hitter, especially, because some courses, some Open championship courses, you have bunkers at 280 and past that, you’re OK,” said Luke Donald, the world’s top-ranked player. “But here there’s another one 20 yards further, there’s another one 20 yards past that. There’s not too many holes where if you can carry it a certain distance you get past them. They seem to be continually going along the holes.”
Bubba Watson knocked a couple of shots into the bunkers during a practice round earlier this week. While it goes against everything he’s about, the left-hander knows that a little patience and caution are required if he’s to follow up his Masters championship with another major title.
“I don’t understand why there’s that many, but they didn’t ask me to design it,” Watson quipped.
In all there are 17 bunkers on the closing hole, the rest standing guard around the green. For some reason, Watson found that amusing.
“Not that I counted, but there’s 17 on 18,” he said. “They should have just thrown one more on 18 and made it 18 on No. 18.”
Watson is certainly in the minority when it comes to calling for even more pot bunkers at Lytham.
Seriously, enough’s enough.
“You do feel a little bit claustrophobic on a lot of holes,” Donald moaned. “They’re everywhere.”
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963
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