Golf / The Open Championship: Saving the worst until last

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The Independent Online
IF A 468-yard par-four is your idea of a perfect golf hole, then either you are a masochist, or the 18th at Royal St George's is the ultimate for you. The hole is candid. Straight away, you know it is a brute. There is nothing to it if you can hit a great drive and an excellent second shot, but otherwise it is tough.

Being on the fairway off the tee is vital; being slightly to the left side may be better. The sensible, talented way to play the approach shot is to aim for the middle of the green and fade the ball in towards the right portion, although the bunker on the right is to be avoided at all costs. The left side of the green is dominated by 'Duncan's Hollow', a depression from which George Duncan took three shots to get down at the 1922 Open and thus failed to tie with Walter Hagen. Sandy Lyle also took three from there in 1985, but he still managed to win.

It does not pay to be long here either. Out-of-bounds awaits over the back of the green. In other words, to be long, short, left or right on the 18th is bad news. Definitely not a hole for Martyn Lewis.

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