Closing Time: Inside the 18th at Trump Doral
March 04, 2015
- March 04, 2015
- The long, narrow green at the 18th is tough to hit with a short iron, much less a mid iron. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
It might be the toughest tee shot on the PGA TOUR.
Hyperbole? Maybe. But the opening shot on the par-4 18th at Trump Doral hasn’t softened with age or redesign. It was the fourth-toughest finishing hole on TOUR last year, and it’s 4.343 stroke average wasn’t much lower than Quail Hollow’s 4.452.
Trump Doral’s redesign only added four yards to the hole, not that it needed it. The fairway is still the same, unforgiving stretch of grass that is surrounded by water on the left and trees on the right. It’s the same premise as the 18th at TPC Sawgrass: Miss the fairway, and prepare for bogey.
“The drive is about ten yards wide and if you miss, then you're looking at double bogey,” Adam Scott said. “It just such a tough tee shot. It's probably the iconic hole of this golf course.”
18TH HOLE BY THE NUMBERS
30: Balls hit into the water off the tee in 2014.
50: Percentage of players who hit the fairway in 2014.
362: Length of Rory McIlroy's tee shot on the 18th hole in the second round in 2014. He made par.
2005: The last year someone made an eagle on the 18th (Esteban Toledo, Round 1).
If you want to see a good collection of train-wreck shots on the 18th, watch the video below. Especially notable is Jordan Spieth's description of the hole around the one-minute mark, and this week is just his second start at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Can you say scarred for life?
Tough Test: The Blue Monster at Trump National Doral
2004: Craig Parry’s walk-off eagle to end a playoff vs. Scott Verplank remains one of the one of there most improbable finishes in recent memory. Parry fired a Sunday 68 to catch Verplank, then holed a 6-iron from 176 yards to win. Parry, who turns 50 next year, never won again on TOUR.
To hear about the shot in the words of Verplank and Parry, watch the video below.
Signature Shots: Craig Parry - March 7, 2004
2012: Sometimes, the best shots are in defeat, and that is what happened to Bubba Watson on the 18th hole in 2012.
Watson needed a birdie to make a playoff with Justin Rose, who had bogeyed the 18th to finish at 16 under. Bubba blew his tee shot way right into the palm trees, then hit an escape for the ages (watch it below), crafting a low 4-iron that stayed low and settled 9 feet from the pin. Watson misread the putt and had to settle for par, handing Rose the win.
“That was my last chance,” Watson said. “I hit a great shot in there and that would have been huge for me to have a chance to be able to win.”
Bubba Watson's approach on No. 18 in Round 4 of Cadillac
THE FINAL WORDIt's an impossible hole.