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March 28 2012

4:07 PM

ShotLink: Inside Redstone

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This is what the players see on the daunting 18th tee at Redstone. See that bunker in the upper right? Over one-quarter of the tee shots end up there.

The PGA TOUR is back at Redstone this week for the Shell Houston Open

Two things you need to know about the Tournament Course at Redstone: As usual, the par 5s must be birdied. Why? Because the last two holes -- both par 4s -- measure a combined 978 yards.

Ouch.

First, the good news. Redstone has some long par 5s -- the shortest is 557 yards -- but the big hitters can get home in two. Phil Mickelson, last year's winner of the Shell Houston Open, went for the green 15 times in 16 tries last year. He ended up 14 under on the par 5s, picking up a staggering nine shots on the field.

Mickelson holed out a field-leading three times during the week. It was the fifth time Mickelson had accomplished that in the ShotLink era.

Mickelson's stats en route to victory in 2011:

Statistic Mickelson rank Mickelson stat The rest of the field
Driving Distance 6th 314.6 yards 292.7 yards
Going for green (par 5s) 1st 89.47 percent 40.47 percent
Approaches, 50-125 yds 1st 7 feet, 6 inches 19 feet
Birdies 1st 27 11
Par 5 Scoring Average 1st 4.13 4.73
Par 3 birdie percentage 1st 37.50 10.02

 

One more thing to watch: the fairway bunker on the 18th coming down the stretch on Sunday. With water going all the way down the left side, many players will bail out into the bunker ... but someone with a one-shot lead might not have that option. That fairway bunker catches more tee shots than any other fairway bunker on TOUR:

Course Hole Par Yardage Percentage
Redstone 18 4 488 28.2 percent
Cog Hill 1 4 462 24.5 percent
TPC Louisiana 7 5 561 22.5 percent
Harbour Town 6 4 419 22.5 percent
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