PAR 5, 598 YARDS
A new back tee has added 56 yards to the 11th hole – the biggest addition to a single hole in the renovations for the 2012 Open – making the 11th the longest hole on the course. The second of the two par 5s at Lytham, the new tee is elevated to produce a tantalising tee shot, and the extended hole has required the fairway bunkering to be repositioned, too.
The hole dog-legs gently to the left, and with two bunkers protecting the inside of the dog-leg, players will need to carry drives 285 to clear the corner. A true three-shotter which plays across the prevailing wind, it concludes on an undulating slightly raised green.
LAWRIE: At nearly 600 yards it’s a decent length but we will still have a decent chance at hitting the green in two with a good tee shot. It’s quite narrow between the fairway bunkers around the landing area so it’s a bit of a risk to take it on, but that could be the difference between going for it in two or not. If you’re laying up you need to make sure you’re well short of the two bunkers on the right so you have no chance of going in them and can leave a full shot. If you go for it in two and get caught in any of those bunkers short of the green you face a very diffi cult shot. Those 40 to 60-yard bunker shots are the hardest in the game so you have to make sure you can get it past them or lay it up well short.
DONALD: I was asked at St Andrews in 2005 if I wanted to be paired with Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. It was Jack’s last Open. The R&A said if I didn’t want that distraction, they’d understand. But at that point in my career I thought it was a great opportunity. If I’d passed it up, I’d probably regret it, just in terms of the history of playing with them. I think I handled it pretty well. It was an unbelievable experience to play with those two giants.