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A hole-by-hole look at the US Open course

A hole-by-hole look at the US Open course

A hole-by-hole look at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South), site of the 108th U.S. Open golf championship starting on Thursday:
No. 1, 448 yards, par 4: Unlike the last two years, this should be a fairly tame way to start the U.S. Open. Two bunkers to the right and a longer bunker on the left should be avoided, with the left side of the fairway preferred for what could be a 7-iron or less depending on the wind. The green is slightly elevated and pitches from back to front, guarded by bunkers on the both sides.
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No. 2, 389 yards, par 4: A driver could leave a flip sand wedge to the green, but anything not in the fairway spells trouble. Anything right off the tee could find a tricky bunker, with a long bunker stretching along the left side of the fairway. The green slopes severely from back to front, and is very quick in the back right location. Anything long drops off severely.
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No. 3, 195 yards, par 3: One of the best holes on the course, and certainly the most scenic from an elevated tee with the Pacific as a backdrop. Two tees some 50 yards apart will be used, with the shorter tee (142 yards) just as difficult because of the wind. A long iron from the back tee will have a penetrating flight; a wedge from the forward tee gets up in the air. The two-tiered green slopes from left to right. A big bunker guards the front left of the green, with a hazard that falls off into a gorge on the left and behind the green.
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No. 4, 488 yards, par 4: Already a tough hole, seven Torrey pines have been moved from the left side of the fairway to the right to open up the cliffs down the left side. A bunker on the right could see plenty of golf balls. The approach requires a long iron or more to a narrow green that is exposed to the wind along the cliffs.
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No. 5, 453 yards, par 4: This has a similar look to the second hole, the fairway squeezed by bunkers on the right and left. The key is the approach to a green that is narrow and slopes severely, with a deep bunker to the right causing problems. Approach shots must be kept below the hole for a decent shot at birdie, and to avoid three-putting.
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No. 6, 515 yards, par 4: This has been converted to a par 4 for the U.S. Open, mainly because the green is open to a long approach. The aggressive drive takes on the canyon on the right with a slight draw. Otherwise, the drive must avoid a cluster of five bunkers on the left and plenty of pines. A long iron is required to a green that is protected by bunkers on both sides.
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No. 7, 461 yards, par 4: Precision is demanded off the tee, with a fairway bunker in the landing zone to the left and trees lining a canyon to the right. The approach is to an uphill green that is deceptively narrow and falls off sharply, with a large bunker protecting the front right part of the green.
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No. 8, 177 yards, par 3: The tamest of the par 3s, but still tough to find a birdie. The green is two-tiered and not entirely visible from the tee. A large bunker guards the front of the green, with a smaller bunker over the back, but the key is to find the same level as the hole location. Otherwise, lag putts are difficult.
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No. 9, 612 yards, par 5: Only the longest hitters and go for the green with a 3-wood, and everyone else still must hit the fairway to allow for a good layup; otherwise, they will have as much as a mid-iron for the third shot. Bunkers are on both sides of the fairway in the landing area, and the green is two-tiered with bunkers on both sides of the front portion.
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No. 10, 414 yards, par 4: Those starting the first two rounds on this hole will have a slightly easier time. Most players will opt for a fairway metal off the tee and keep it on the left side for a short iron to a sloping green that is guarded by bunkers at the front on both sides. This might be considered the last good birdie opportunity until the final hole.
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No. 11, 221 yards, par 3: A tough par 3 that typically plays longer than its yardage because of the prevailing wind from the ocean. The tee shot is straightforward, but must avoid a narrow bunker along the right side of the green and two smaller bunkers to the left. The green slopes severely from right to left.
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No. 12, 504 yards, par 4: The fairway is generous, with a couple of bunkers on both sides, but the two on the right more often come into play. Only a solid tee shot will allow players to reach the green in two, but anything short is still a fairly simple up-and-down, because the green is 35 yards deep and receptive to uphill chips.
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No. 13, 614 yards, par 5: Two tees have been built near the launch area for hang gliders. From the back tee, a 240-yard carry is required to clear the canyon and reach the fairway, and it's doubtful anyone can reach the green in two, which is elevated and protected in front by deep rough and a series of bunkers. A forward tee could mean a 3-wood for position and a better chance to reach in two. The shorter tee is likely if the wind comes off the foothills instead of the ocean.
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No. 14, 435 yards, par 4: Two bunkers are situated down the right side of the fairway, but the greater fear is a canyon to the left. Players tend to aim further to the right, bringing trees into the picture for anything too far off line. The green, protected by deep bunkers left and right, is one of the most exposed on the course. Anything over the green could run down the slope and into a hazard.
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No. 15, 478 yards, par 4: Eucalyptus trees line both sides of the fairway, making this one of the most claustrophobic tee shots on the course. It's the only driving hole without a fairway bunker, but none are needed. Anything left could force a low runner under the branches of trees. The green is slightly uphill and slopes aggressively from right to left, with bunkers on both sides.
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No. 16, 225 yards, par 3: Two tees offer dramatically different views. The longer tee is straightforward to an open green, with deep bunkers on both sides, but the wind can complicate the angle. The shorter tee to the left (193 yards) requires a carry over the canyon and brings the bunkers into play, but players can aim more to the right and ride the prevailing breeze off the ocean.
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No. 17, 441 yards, par 4: With a prevailing breeze at the back, most players will go with an iron or fairway metal to play short of a large bunker on the right side. Players who are more aggressive must be aware of the canyon on the left, famous for when Phil Mickelson and Frank Lickliter both hit tee shots there in a 2001 playoff, which Mickelson won with a double bogey. The green is elevated, wide and severely undulating, protected by small bunkers on both sides at the front.
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No. 18, 573 yards, par 5: The USGA decided to leave this as a par 5, making it perhaps the most exciting closing hole for a U.S. Open since Pebble Beach (which Tiger Woods made rather dull with his 15-shot victory). The tee shot must avoid bunkers right and left (along with the rough) to go for the green in two. A large pond guards the front left portion of the green, with bunkers curling on both sides of the narrow green. Those who lay up must guard against too much spin on their third, especially with a front pin, as the green slopes to the front toward the pond.