Dogleg, water-lined No. 18 a challenging closer at St. Jude Classic

Dogleg, water-lined No. 18 a challenging closer at St. Jude Classic

FedEx St. Jude Classic

TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.

Hole No. 18

Par 4, 453 yards

TPC Southwind’s finishing hole is easy on the eyes, but it asks plenty in return.

The defining feature and toughest obstacle here is water running along the left side on almost the entire hole. It begins with a narrow tee shot, with water coming into play on the left side as soon as the fairway begins. Hitting the fairway is key on this right-to-left dogleg, which means a hybrid or 3-wood is the wise choice for some players.

A trio of bunkers line the right side of the fairway and can collect tee shots that err on the side of caution opposite the water hazard. A scattering of trees runs along the right rough directly up to the green, which is protected on the front-right side by a large bunker. There’s also a small bunker beyond the center of the green. The water runs just past the back left side of the green, so approach shots that miss left can be extremely costly.

Playing as the toughest hole some years, it was the sixth-most difficult hole on the course in 2017 with an average score of 4.137. There were just 56 birdies made compared to 92 bogeys and 13 scores of double bogey or worse.

Daniel Berger played the hole at 2 over par when he won here in 2016 and was again 2 over for the week at No. 18 when he defended his title a year ago. During a pressure-packed final round in 2017, Berger hit an approach to 10 feet and two-putted for the one-shot victory over Charl Schwartzel and Whee Kim.

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