Tough Course Lives Up To Its Reputation
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Pete Dye’s house of horrors is having its revenge in the second round of the 94th P.G.A. Championship.
A windless, rain-soaked Ocean Course took a beating Thursday when 44 pros bettered par in the opening round.
Friday was proving to be a different story.
Once the wind kicked up at the Ocean Course, so did the scores. It brought the club pro Doug Wade to his knees. He shot a 93. Alex Noren of Sweden suffered the largest reversal of fortune, with his score climbing from 67 to an eight-over-par 80.
“If you had a golf course like this and you asked me to go and play golf in windy conditions, I’d say, ‘No, I’m not going to play,’” Vijay Singh said. And that’s from the guy who shot the lowest score, a three-under 69.
Today, the pros are being challenged by the course Golf Digest magazine ranked as the toughest in the country.
“It’s one of the toughest setups I think I’ve seen at a major championship in a long time,” said Graeme McDowell, the 2010 United States Open champion, who shot 76.
Gusts as high as 30 miles per hour made Singh say he threw his game plan out the window. The Australian Adam Scott said he considered his three-over 75 to be the equivalent of shooting par. In fact, it was probably better than that. The average score ballooned to 77.63 among finishers in the morning wave. Their frustration showed.
“Just a brutal test of golf,” Jamie Donaldson said. “With rain coming in, you don’t get a much tougher test than this golf course.”
The Ocean Course’s elevated greens require an aerial attack. Players said they added or subtracted 30 yards depending on the direction of the wind. Phil Mickelson, who shot one under and reached the clubhouse at even par over all, said he expected the conditions to worsen during the afternoon.
Mickelson said if anybody finished with a two-day total better than Singh’s four-under 140 (71-69), “that’s going to be a heck of a play this afternoon.”