Requiring a second shot to an island green, the finishing hole for this fall’s Ryder Cup figures to ramp up even more pressure on any match that goes the distance at Le Golf National.
Of course, not every match will go the distance. On the other hand, everyone teeing it up at the HNA Open de France is faced with a daily encounter with No.18. A year ago, more than one-third walked away with bogey or worse.
It’s not just the second shot that’s built to intimidate. Water runs fully along the fairway’s left, pot bunkers are on the right and the landing area tightens at about 300 yards.
“It’s a tough tee shot,” said France’s Alexander Levy, “because you must leave yourself with a short club to then attack the island green. But too left or too long and you’re in the water hazard; too right and you’re in the rough.”
Four pars were enough last year for both winner Tommy Fleetwood and runner-up Peter Uihlein. At the far end of the spectrum was a pair of 9s, including one by former Open Championship winner Darren Clarke.
No.18, Le Golf National
Par 4, 471 yards
2017 average: 4.42 (toughest)
2017 Open de France: 0 eagles, 40 birdies, 264 pars, 101 bogeys, 46 double bogeys, 11 higher