Why the 14th hole at The Country Club could end up being the face of the US Open

We come back to Scott for a moment, but first, a history lesson about this massive gap. As an ode to Boston’s part of the Revolutionary War, when the 14th century was being built in the 1920s, officials saw all the bunkers on the hill and the name was a no-brainer.

And the lack of an easy chance at this 122nd US Open is a celebration to cheer. If you’re indifferent about these brave pros of hitting the chauffeur, 7-iron to 5 times week after week, raise your hand. If you missed the days when players were actually thinking about hitting the ball, shake the tambourine.

Then after you put your hand down and the tambourines are silenced, run to the highlights of the first round and study the wonders of this 14th hole. beautiful things.

Yes, it ranked second easiest in the first round, averaging 4.833, but before you go any further, guess which hole was the easiest? Ranked 17th and 18th for Par-5s is a sure bet as NBA centers rank statistically taller than the jockeys.

Forget the stats – please! – and study the dynamics at Bunker Hill. (Hey, they don’t use the original name much anymore, but for today’s purposes, we’ll do that). If you wish to put a face to the first American Open Tour in 34 years at The Country Club, it is here humbly suggested that we refer to the fourteenth.

why? “Because a lot can go wrong,” Scott said, a blanket can be thrown over all 18 holes at The Country Club. But in any other gap, the premium in a tee shot is as important as 14.

Shane Lowry was among the golfers who were puzzled by the 14th hole on Thursday at The Country Club.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

“People asked me what holes I was most interested in watching?” “I’d say 14 and 17,” said Jill Hansey, who has overseen several modifications and upgrades to the Country Club’s combined cycle since 2010.

Hansey said a concerted effort to “put a premium on the tee shot” was hugely successful on the 14th because it carries so much weight. Players drool on longer holes, and if making a ghost at level 5 unanimously is hate #1, then hate number 2 equals a 5.

When Scott drove it on the left, forget going into the green in two, “I had to get it out of there,” he said. The wedge was the safest choice, but it would have left it more than 200 yards in the green. Therefore, he became “aggressive” and hit a 9 iron.

“I managed to get it out of there about 130 yards,” Scott smiled, and yes, he was proud of the shot, even though a 9 iron could often be his 150-yard shot.

The risk of that second shot of roughness is double. You can’t get enough of a stick on it to hit a flat plateau and a short wedge. And you need to bring it back into play without running it too far as your third shot will be uphill and blind.

One serious challenge resulting from missing the fairway, but in that, Scott wasn’t alone. Only 55 percent of the field hit the right lane at 14, and 22 percent of the field missed the green in the regulations, a worrying number at 5-fold.

Ah, but that’s not a typical equal. This is a brilliantly designed hole and may have been the crowning piece for Project Hanse, Jim Wagner and their crew Caveman when it was decided over 10 years ago that The Country Club needed a little more power to get the US Open.

“We discussed which is better, 5, 10 or 14,” Hansey said.

With less room to move the 10th tee, the decision was made to keep that level 4 that could play for up to 500 yards (in the first round, the field average was 4.391 and 3rd played harder). Found on the 14th, the new tee was extended to over 600 yards and fitted with vintage Hanse aesthetics to keep you uncomfortable, and while it passed the test in the 2013 US Amateur, this US Open was a different animal.

Gary Woodland plays a bunker shot on the 14th hole during the first round Thursday at The Country Club.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

And on Thursday, he was a beautiful, feral animal, and he outdid a long list of players.

Don’t stop at no double bogey or worse. Don’t overstate the 39 birds or eagles that were made, one was a 40-yard pit hole from amateur bunker Billy Moe of Pepperdine, and the other was a 53-foot-tall by Taylor Montgomery.

Focus on this: the 13 players who finished 2 under or better combined to play 14 in just 3 under.

This is not very impressive. Which speaks volumes about The Country Club’s brilliance and why the 14th may be the face of this tournament.

Somewhere, I think Milton native Bill Flynn, who charted the 14th, and Frances Oymet, against whom Flynn played schoolboy matches, are smiling heartily.