- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2018

POTOMAC, Md. — Kevin Streelman drove the green on the par-4 14th hole at the Quicken Loans National on Friday. He didn’t have to do a whole lot more to finish the hole — just a 9-foot putt to make eagle.

Though Streelman was ecstatic about every part of his game, which he called “pretty close to a flawless round,” the eagle stands out as the jewel of his bogey-free 62.

“It was obviously about as good a start as I could have,” Streelman said, “And [I] just kept it up and just kind of played smart golf coming in and gave myself a lot of good looks.”

The 14th hole at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm is listed as 299 yards this week, reachable for most golfers on the tour. But Friday’s front-left pin placement effectively made the hole even shorter.

The hole saw four eagles in the first round and four and counting midway through the second. Its scoring average indicated it was the easiest hole on the course.

“As long as you don’t get a strong wind into you, it’s reachable every day,” Rickie Fowler said.

Fowler almost made eagle on No. 14 Friday, himself. He drove the green and had about 29 feet coming back for eagle, which he just missed and cleaned up with a tap-in birdie.

That’s not to imply the hole is a piece of cake. Golfers have to either commit to aiming for the green or leave it in the fairway short and left. 

“If you bail out and hit left there, it’s a tough up-and-down, so it’s a great little hole,” Fowler said.

After birdieing the hole Thursday, Tiger Woods used a 3-wood and hit his drive into the bunker guarding the green. Woods needed to lay up out of the sand, then chip again from the fairway in order to save par.

Woods said after his round that if he could play the hole again — which he’ll have to do this weekend — he would hit driver.

“Driver’s too much and 3-wood’s not enough,” Woods said. “I have to hit it perfect to carry that bunker. I liked driver initially because it was going to take the bunker out of play. The wind laid down and so (I chose) 3-wood, but I have to hit it perfectly and I didn’t.”

Beau Hossler, who led the tournament at 9-under when he reached the clubhouse Friday, saw the 14th a different way, mentioning it is difficult to stop the ball near the pin.

“You can get it on the green, but you’re usually putting a 30- to 50-footer up over a ridge,” Hossler said. “I look at it as more of a, ‘let’s try and make a 3 here,’ and try and give myself a good opportunity either to have a straightforward pitch or to try and two-putt.”

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