The Forecaddie: Make the last at Evian one to remember

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The Forecaddie: Make the last at Evian one to remember

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Make the last at Evian one to remember

In the spirit of change for the New Year, the Man Out Front would like to see the Evian Championship take a page from its past and return the 18th hole to a risk/reward par 5.

From a fan’s perspective, it’s more thrilling to watch players make a heroic bid for eagle on the 72nd hole (e.g., the ANA) rather than grind it out for par (or even lay up in the case of 2016 champ In Gee Chun) to win a major. Last year, of course, Anna Nordqvist duked it out in a playoff against Brittany Altomare during a hailstorm on the 18th at the Evian and won with bogey. Not a good look for the LPGA.

“The difference between saving par and making birdie or eagle adds to the final history of the tournament, the prestige of the winner,” said Mo Martin, who famously won the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Birkdale with an eagle on the last.

Not every player in the field can reach the 18th as a
par 4, particularly when it’s damp and into the wind.
Add in the slope to the fairway and it’s tough even to keep it in the short grass. Long-bombing Brittany Lincicome hits a mid-iron into the hole and thinks it’s unfair that shorter hitters have to lay up.

Karrie Webb believes that if the 18th green remains as severe as it is currently, then the hole should be played as a reachable par 5. To stay as a par 4, Webb said, the two-tiered green needs to be softened, with less slope, no larger tier and a bigger landing areas to make it more accepting of longer clubs.

Annika Sorenstam eagled the 18th in a playoff to win her first Evian title.

More of that, please.

(Note; This story appears in the January 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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