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06-07-19 欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇

(2006-09-09 20:41:10)

'The 3rd is a nightmare... I've never made par'

When the Open tees off tomorrow, our correspondent will be one of the interested observers on his home course. Here he reveals exclusively his experiences of Royal Liverpool and the pitfalls that may await the top pros.

GOLF is one of my great passions, although one which, thanks to my bad luck with injuries this year, I have not been able to indulge nearly as much as I would like.

My eight handicap is likely to suffer as I recuperate from my knee operations, but this year I did manage to get around Royal Liverpool, venue for the Open Championship and one of the courses that I like to play as often as I can. Dietmar Hamann, my former Liverpool team-mate, lives close by and you will see quite a few footballers on the links.

Like most golfers, I love the feel of a seaside course, although you couldn’t say that Royal Liverpool is a classic links. You are at the mercy of the elements, but it does not have huge dunes or outrageous sloping lies. When you take a divot, the ground is a mix of sand and earth.

I know they will have toughened it up for the championship. They have switched the order so that the last hole is the normal 16th. Apparently, they thought that the 18th was not a great finishing hole for such a big event, which I can understand.

I have always found it a pretty fair challenge. I have played to my handicap around it a few times, but that is without the championship tees and the pressure that the pros will be under from tomorrow morning until Sunday night.

Michael Owen's guide to Hoylake

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is quite a tight and long opening par four so, while I can't see any big scores, even the pros will be happy to walk off with a steady par to start. Particularly because if there is a wind up, it is straight in your face。

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is a good early birdie chance. The two-tiered green can be a little tricky and there are a few bunkers protecting it but, particularly with a breeze behind, I would expect low scores.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is usually the first hole on the course and it is my nightmare. I'm not sure I have ever even made par. There is out of bounds all the way down the right and the closer you get to the green, the more you flirt with danger. The pros might not suffer but I always do.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This should be quite a comfortable hole but, to take advantage, you need good position with the tee-shot. There are bunkers to catch misjudged drives.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
The first par five should be very reachable in two for the big boys. You need to drive close to the trouble, with gorse on your left, to get a short shot in but the green slopes back to front and so it will take a long approach. Definite birdie chance.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
The first par three normally has the wind coming off the right and slightly into your face. There can be some tricky chips around the green and I would happily take a par, especially if it is blowing.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is stroke index one for the amateurs but I normally find it pretty docile. You can run out of fairway if you hit a driver and there is a bit of gorse about, but there is nothing to frighten the pros.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is a blind tee shot because the hedge cuts in, but the wind off the right can help shape your drive. Positioning the tee-shot is important but it is not very long and I expect quite a few birdies.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
There are four par threes and I would happily snatch a par on three of them including this one even if it is a little easier than the sixth. There are some dunes on the right which can kick the ball back if you misjudge to that side.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This takes you out to the far point of the course. There is out of bounds to the left but it is reachable in two even for mortals like me. Short and right there is a big hollow and a deep bunker.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
You tend to breathe a sigh of relief as you turn the corner. You still have to contend with the wind but it is more across than in your face. You can always see the top of the flagstick here and this is a drivable par four.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
They have put some new bunkers on the right for tee shots, but there is danger of rough on the other side if you go for the direct line on this left dog leg. The green is slightly raised which can make this play longer than the yardage but there shouldn’t be too many dropped shots.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is the signature hole with the best views. If the wind is blowing, you are open to the elements and that can make a diffence of four or five clubs to the amateur. It is probably not as narrow tricky as it can look from the tee but I still happily take par.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is generally described as a tough hole but it shouldn’t put the fear into anyone. It is another dog leg left and I am sure there will be plenty of thick rough to snare the wayward. But I wouldn’t expect big scores.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is the shortest and easiest of the par threes and, with the prevailing wind behind, it is sometimes only a pitching wedge off the regular tee. The green is not very big but there is a bit of a bowl to it and so any decent shot should leave you pretty close.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
This is probably my favourite hole, not in terms of views but because I score well on it and I would expect the pros to cash in too. It is reachable in two and the green is fairly exposed so you can chase a ball onto the putting surface.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
Back into the teeth of the wind and with new bunkers, this will be a hole that any contenders on Sunday will just want to get over with. A long par four and a time to hold it all together before going for birdie down the last.

06-07-19 <wbr>欧文:第三洞是最大的梦魇
A par five finish should make for some excitement if there is nothing between the leaders. A birdie is definitely available but you have to be brave and stick to the right, near the out of bounds, to have a good approach.


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