New leader in par-5 yardage: Olympic no. 16 is the beast
Most years, the 667-yard 16th at Firestone South — home of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational — is the undisputed longest hole on the PGA Tour. Not anymore...
Sure, the 663-yard finishing hole at Kapalua, home of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions — is close. But that hole is severely downhill, and even medium hitters have been known to hit it in two occasionally.
But the 16th at Firestone is a true three-shot hole, unless you are a big left-hander named Bubba. He hit it in two in 2011, but that’s another story.
This year at Olympic, the par-5 16th stretches to 670 yards, the longest hole in the 112-year history of the U.S. Open. It helps the course play about 400 yards longer than it did in 1998, the last time the USGA held the championship at the famed track outside San Francisco.
A few quick facts and figures about various par 5s on the PGA Tour:
Longest: In 2011, Firestone 16th. This year, Olympic’s 16th, by three yards.
Number of par 5s on the PGA TOUR: 163
Number of par 5s on the PGA TOUR over 600 yards: 27
Number of par 5s on the PGA TOUR under 500 yards: 1 (The 495-yard first hole at Palm G.C., one of the two tracks that host the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic).
Easiest 600-yard par-5 on TOUR: The downhill ninth at East Lake, home of The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Despite a 30-man field, it gave up three eagles, and played to a stroke average of 4.592.
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