ShotLink: Copperhead's 'Snake Pit' packs bite

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Ryo Ishikawa ponders his approach on No. 18. The hole swings uphill, and players must avoid a deep bunker.
March 13, 2012
Alex Turnbull, ShotLink

TURF TALK: Inside info on Copperhead from the course superintendent | Inside the Course | Hole by hole

On paper, it's one of the toughest finishes at a non-major. The final three-hole stretch of the Copperhead Course, is where dreams go to die.

It's dubbed "The Snake Pit."

The final stretch begins with a par-4 of 475 yards -- the toughest hole on the course -- followed by a 215-yard par-3 and a 445-yard finishing par-4.

The 18th hole bit Webb Simpson in 2011. He was battling Gary Woodland for his first career win -- but he blew his approach over the green and made bogey. Woodland parred the hole and won by a shot. They finished just ahead of rookie Scott Stallings, who saw his shot at winning drown in a lake on the 16th hole.

Holes Tournament Course Average over par
16,17,18 PGA Championship Atlanta Athletic Club +0.924
16,17,18 The Honda Classic PGA National Champion Course +0.785
16,17,18 Wells Fargo Championship Quail Hollow Club +0.777
16,17,18 The Memorial Muirfield Village GC +0.758
16,17,18 British Open Royal St. George's Golf Club +0.594
16,17,18 Shell Houston Open Redstone GC Tournament Course +0.494
16,17,18 Transitions Championship Innisbrook Resort +0.455
16,17,18 HP Byron Nelson TPC Four Seasons Resort +0.453
16,17,18 RBC Canadian Open Shaughnessy G&CC +0.423
16,17,18 U.S. Open Congressional Country Club +0.418

Here is how the finishing stretch ranked on TOUR in 2011:

Player Score to par/Snake Pit Rounds
Singh, Vijay -5 22
Sutton, Hal -4 6
Hanson, Peter -3 4
Woodland, Gary -3 4

One of the more startling stats on TOUR is the domination of Vijay Singh over the Snake Trap. If anyone has come up with an effective antidote for the final stretch, it's him:

The best of the Snake Pit
Hole Player Average to par Rounds
16 Snedeker, Brandt -3 18
16 Taylor, Vaughn -3 24
16 Sutton, Hal -3 6
17 Chopra, Daniel -6 22
17 Lonard, Peter -3 24
18 Howell III, Charles -6 34
18 Senden, John -5 28
18 Ogilvy, Geoff -4 22
The worst of the Snake Pit
Hole Player Average to par Rounds
16 Micheel, Shaun +18 34
16 Wilson, Dean +18 26
16 Austin, Woody +17 38
17 Ogilvie, Joe +9 19
17 Beckman, Cameron +8 29
17 Mediate, Rocco +8 23
18 Maggert, Jeff +9 26
18 Chopra, Daniel +9 22
18 Beem, Rich +9 26
18 Gay, Brian +9 36

Snake Pit scoring leaders since 2000:

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