With a total of 17 players within five shots of the lead heading into the final day at Gullane, it’s clear that the finest of margins will separate the winner of the Scottish Open from the chasing pack.
But what holes will the winner have to manage successfully tomorrow to be in with a shout of the title? We’ve picked out the three toughest, with no question about No.1 on the list.
Hole 11 – The Valley – 480 yards – Par-4
“I played here last year before the Open and it was a par-5, now it’s a par-4!” said Luke Donald on the difficulty of the 11th.
Despite that, the Englishman was one of only three players to birdie the hole on Saturday, saying that its angle into the wind has made it as tough as it is.
“It was straight into the wind today and I had to hit driver and a 2-iron as well as a good putt to make birdie. It’s playing really long and if that wasn’t bad enough, you have to fit it in between the bunkers!”
Eddie Pepperell carded the second best round of the day, a 65, to sit two shots back on nine-under-par. His only bogey of the day came at the 11th, and he says to expect ‘big numbers’ out there if it stays as windy tomorrow.
“It was a driver and a 2-iron for me and a four would’ve been a really good score on that hole,” said Pepperell. “Even a five I wasn’t too disappointed with because if the wind stays up, there’s going to be some numbers on that hole that’s for sure.
“There are bunkers everywhere from that tee shot. If you avoid them, it gives you a chance of making a four, but to hit that green in two you’ve got to hit a great second shot.”
There were 34 bogeys or worse on the 11th on Saturday, compared to just three birdies, while throughout the week the hole has seen 30 birdies, 256 pars and 108 bogeys or worse.
Hole 1 – Windygate – 390 yards – Par-4
The opening hole can set the tone for the rest of the round and the first has proven to be a brutal one at times this week – just ask Jimmy Walker.
The American double-bogeyed the first and never recovered, posting 43 for his front nine before coming home with nine pars to post 78. Matt Fitzpatrick also met the same fate on the first, and also carded a 78 to drop way out of contention.
Meanwhile, Paul McGinley never fully recovered from the triple-bogey he made at 7.20am on day one of the tournament, while Welshman Oliver Farr posted ten at the first on Friday.
There are birdies out there though, with 43 throughout the week – although there were just seven on Saturday – while the three rounds have also been made up with 265 pars and 82 bogeys or worse.
Hole 8 – Corbie – 194 yards – Par-3
With the wind set to gust between 25-30mph again throughout the final day, the eighth hole was the hardest par-3 on Saturday, which can be expected again tomorrow.
There were only four birdies there all day – which came from Daniel Brooks, Rickie Fowler, Morten Orum Madsen and Robert Rock – while there were 22 bogeys or worse and 57 pars. Take your par and move on!
Scottish Open :: Winner?
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