Defending champion Collin Morikawa has highlighted the penultimate hole at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island as a potential game breaker at this week’s PGA Championship.
Morikawa claimed a famous maiden Major victory at TPC Harding Park last year and heads into his title defence as one of the brightest talents in the game.
But, the American has already focused on the 17th hole as a deciding obstacle for whoever comes out on top on Sunday.
‘The 17th is going to be a huge hole because no matter where you put the tees, there’s still nowhere to bail,’ he said from South Carolina.
‘When I played that hole during media day, it was straight downwind and I was like, “I don’t know how we’re going to play this downwind or into the wind”.
‘I wish they had built a full stadium and you wouldn’t have any wind! But it’s going to be a huge hole because no matter where you put the tees you still might be hitting 7-iron or 6-iron, and there’s still nowhere to bail.’
As expected, the layout offers no freebies with typical Major conditions to challenge players from all over the world.
Morikawa believes the player who manages to keep his cool at the hole during the business end of the PGA Championship could very well walk away with the crown.
‘Usually you have somewhere just to kind of play away from the hazard, but it’s hard to play short left because you still have water, you still have wind, and you only have about 15, 20 yards. Are you just playing centre of the green? Are you playing at the bunker? It all depends on the wind.
‘I think coming down there on Sunday, even on Saturday, how people are going to have momentum for those last couple of holes is going to be huge. I’ll take four threes right now and get away with that because pars are going to be your friend those last couple of holes.
‘But I look forward to it, I think you want that challenge. You want it to be hard, you don’t want it to be unfair, but you want it to be tough because that kind of really makes you focus a little more and it really shows what a good shot will be like,’ he added.