US Open 2024: Par-5 Fifth Matches Big 3 Scotty Scheffler, Xander Schaeffel and Rory McIlroy

PINEHURST, NC – Driving the ball like he always does, Xander Schauffele chipped one out of a pine tree to the left of the par-5 fifth hole on Friday, his ball falling short and left of the fairway, just 186 yards away.

Somehow, for all three stars in the group – it gets more challenging from there.

Pinehurst No. 2 has only two par 5s, and the fifth hole — especially its treacherous back-left hole location, with slopes running on all sides — matched three of the world’s best players at the US Open. .

After returning to position following a wayward drive, Schaeffel’s 200-yard third shot caught the steep slopes around the flag and went down the sandy waste area to the left of the green. Already in the same spot were Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy, both of whom failed to put the ball on the putting surface with a hard right-to-left drive on the green.

„You hit the lie with the ball over your feet, and the wind touches the right side as well,” McIlroy said. “It’s hard not to leave that ball on you with your second shot. I’d say there’s going to be a lot of people in that left sand area today.

Few had more difficulty than this group.

Scheffler was the first to play from home.

With a tuft of wiregrass in front of his ball, the world No. 1 couldn’t play the chasing, bump and run shot that he originally wanted. With no choice but to go for a splash-out, Scheffler’s shot missed the crest of the hill and almost returned to its original spot. With his next shot, he took no chances, blasting past the flag, but the slope behind the hole carried it off the green and into a close cut.

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„I think that’s part of the mystery of sandbars,” Scheffler said. „You get down there, it’s the luck of the draw whether you have a shot or not. Really, what you’re trying to do from there is it has to be somewhere on the green, and I felt like I took the best route I thought at first, and it was very unexpected. It’s a pretty challenging place for your ball to end up.

After Scheffler failed to get up and down the backstretch, he left with a double-bogey 7. To fall towards the cutting line.

Walking off the green, he muttered, „This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Schauffele didn’t have an easy time.

After telling Schauffele’s caddy to give him a putt to protect himself, Schauffele, Scheffle, Scheffler, Scheffle, Schauffle, Schauffle, Scheffle from his shot. Eventually, his ball rolled back 2 feet in front of him.

„It pissed me off,” Schaffel said.

„You can hit a good shot,” he continued. „It’s like a bunker. You don’t really trust what’s underneath a real bunker. There’s a ton of sand in the bunker. You have to hit the ground hard. But you’re worried about whether there’s too much sand or too little sand. When your margin room isn’t so good, that little Hesitation is not good.

Needing to try a similar shot again, Schaffel hit the ball low and sent the flag 9 feet out, making sure the backspin he created didn’t at least bounce off the back of the green. His putt for bogey missed, and he posted a 7, as did Scheffler.

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McIlroy was watching all this carnage, his ball resting near the flag. He took a straight-faced club, hit his ball on a steep slope and watched it roll completely off his back. From there, he chipped to 9 feet and pumped his fist for a hard-earned par when his ball found the bottom of the cup.

„I was really happy with mine to get it 5-over-under over the other side of the green,” he said.

In all, the group was on the hole for about 45 minutes — a two-group wait on the tee, another long pause in the fairway, and then disaster around the green. Scheffler and Schauffele accounted for two of the six morning-wave doubles or worse, statistically, the easiest hole on the par course.

„It’s doable,” Schaffel said. “I’m sure the highlight would be someone standing out or hitting a very close shot. It is very doable. We messed it up.

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