SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – The fifth hole at Whistling Straits measures 598 yards. For mortals, it goes left, then back right, snaking along water and not really fitting in with the rest of a course that looks like Scottish links but doesn’t play like Scottish links because of soft turf and the lack of run-up shots.
Anyway, the 598-yard hole played downwind Friday at the PGA Championship, and Dustin Johnson, one of the longest hitters in competitive golf, reduced it to a pitch-and-putt.
Because he can take a far different line than many players in the field, Johnson bit off a considerable chunk of trouble, bombed a drive down the right side and was left with 149 yards. After taking that shortcut available only to monsters, he hit a wedge to 30 feet and made the putt for eagle.
I’m fairly certain Pete Dye never imagined anything like that when he drew it up.
This probably will aggravate Dye further: Johnson, three shots off the lead at 5-under 139 when he finished, said, “To my standards, I haven’t hit any really good golf shots.”