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No. 14 Far Sterner Test on Saturday

June 15, 2019 - 7:35 PM
The par-5 14th hole has been one of the toughest on the course in Round 3. (USGA/JD Cuban)

The par-5 14th hole at Pebble Beach played as the third-easiest hole in Round 1, but it is proving to be a far different story in Round 3, playing as the fourth-toughest. Why is that? Although the distance hasn’t varied much by day (from 583 to 592 yards), the wind has shifted from being behind the players on Thursday to against them on Saturday, in a more westerly direction. The average second shot distance is 20 yards longer on Saturday than Thursday (up from 288 yards to 308 yards). In Round 1, more than a quarter of the field (26 percent) got within 30 yards of the hole in two, while only 5 percent did so on Friday. Not a single player had gotten within 30 yards on Saturday, with 53 of the 79 players having come through. Only 21 percent of those players have gotten to within 15 feet of the hole for birdie (as opposed to 49 percent on Thursday), and the seven birdies on the day were more than offset by 12 bogeys, two double bogeys and two “others,” for a 5.26 stroke average.