Generous fourth hole provides risk-reward chance as field takes advantage
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Already playing as one of the easiest holes at Valhalla Golf Club, No. 4 featured a set up on Saturday that had players eager to go for the green off the tee box at the 96th PGA Championship.
The tees had been moved up to 292 yards from the 372 yards the hole played during the first two days of the championship.
“It seemed like they put us on the front tee on four, so basically everyone can hit the green,” Hunter Mahan said. “They set it up a little easier today.”
Nearly everyone went for the green off the tee. Only five of the 74 players elected not to take the challenge. An impressive 88 percent hit the green in regulation.
The hole ranked as the easiest of the day at 3.31 after playing 3.82 during the first two days. The hole was the third-easiest on the course Thursday and the second-easiest on Friday.
There were seven eagles on the hole Saturday, including one by Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, whose tee shot rolled just past the hole. He ended up making a 14-foot putt for eagle.
Kenny Perry made a five-foot putt for eagle and Lee Westwood made an eagle putt of nearly three feet. Danny Willett chipped in from just off the left side of the green from about 30 feet -- also for eagle.
“There’s a couple of tees up,” Willett said. “I think they set it up for someone to get off to a start and go low.”
But the hole didn’t provide all smiles.
After no double bogeys or worse during the first two rounds, Bubba Watson hit it right of the green and then chipped over the green and into the hazard. He ended up taking a double-bogey six on the hole.
Rory McIlroy made a nice par save, hitting his tee shot into the hazard on the left side of the green. He dropped and made par.