Riviera's 18th hole could play as drivable par 4 during U.S. Amateur

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Riviera's 18th hole could play as drivable par 4 during U.S. Amateur

Amateur

Riviera's 18th hole could play as drivable par 4 during U.S. Amateur

Competitors at this year’s U.S. Amateur at Riviera Country Club could face not one but two drivable par 4s.

According to tournament director Ben Kimball, there is a possibility of the par-4 18th hole being turned into a drivable hole for match play. The 315-yard, par-4 10th hole is already considered one of the better drivable par 4s in golf. And Kimball said there is a “50-50” chance that the 475-yard 18th could instead be played at 325 yards.

“Should they be playing for the back tee? Probably,” Kimball told Fox Sports Radio. “But there’s also a shorter alternate tee at about 325 yards to a front hole location that could be very entertaining down the stretch, too, for matches that make it that far. … One of the most iconic holes in golf, then you shorten it to an almost drivable par-4 option; is that the right thing to do? I don’t necessarily know.

“But given that it’s match play, you have a little bit of flexibility to try and advance some things that you normally wouldn’t if it was the U.S. Open or Senior Open. Riviera provides a lot of flexibility in the setup. We’re excited about enhancing that flexibility throughout the course of the U.S. Amateur.”

Kimball said the front tee on No. 18 wouldn’t be used until the first round of match play, and could also be used later in the match-play portion of the event.

Another change Kimball talked about was making the 503-yard, par-5 opening hole a par 4. The switch will reduce the George Thomas design to a Par 70 rather than the Par 71 it normally plays at for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open.

“Oh boy, I went back and forth and back and forth and back and forth in my mind on whether or not that was something we were going to do,” Kimball said. “… I spent a lot of time watching the Genesis Open when it’s played here and generally the first hole’s been one of the easiest par 5s on the PGA Tour.”

Riviera will co-host stroke-play qualifying with nearby Bel-Air Country Club on Aug. 14-15 before hosting the match-play rounds on Aug. 16-20.

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