PAR 5, 592 YARDS
With the 6th now a par 4, the 7th becomes the first of only two par 5s on this par-70 championship course. Returning golfers close to the railway line, this is the most changed hole since 2001. The green has been relocated further back and to the left of the old green, adding 35 yards to the length of the hole, while new fairway bunkering has tightened the hole. In fact the fairway bunkering is more severe than the new greenside traps, with a series of 13 pot bunkers rendering the 7th a minefield. With banks and bunkers all around, it’s a big call to go for the green in two.
LAWRIE: It’s a long hole but it will still be a two-shotter for most, depending on the wind. There are a lot of bunkers and with them being so well spread down the hole some are in play for all. The green has been moved since 2001 but if I can comfortably pitch it near the front of the green or on then I’ll have a go. If I’m having to hit my Sunday best to get it on the front then I’ll lay up and leave myself a good wedge distance. The bunkers sticking out into the fairway short on the left are cunning.
DONALD: I’ve always felt more comfortable on parkland courses, simply because links courses are unfamiliar. I played more links as an amateur. And as a professional we don’t play a lot of links golf so it’s sometimes hard to adjust. When I went to college in the States in 1997, I had to change my game. I used to play the ball along the ground a lot more and hit it shorter and lower. I had to adapt to an American style.