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The 151st Open

Par-3 Channel


Watch every twist and turn at the revamped 17th

The 17th, known as

The revamped 17th hole at Royal Liverpool could prove crucial in deciding the destination of the Claret Jug, with drama all but guaranteed as players approach the end of their rounds.

Furnished with an infinity green and surrounded by deep and dangerous bunkers, the stunning 136-yard par-3 plays directly out towards the ocean and will be a hole to keep a very close eye on.

It is already proving popular among spectators, who packed into the stands behind the tee and adjacent to the green as well as cramming on to a handily-placed raised mound – which also overlooks the 15th tee – on the final Practice Day.

Speculation was rife among the watching public as to how best to tackle the challenge but there was one overwhelming consensus – don’t leave it short.

A steep slope at the front of the green leads directly into one of two sand hazards, with landing in either making simply saving par a task as steep as the way out of the bunker.

Reigning Champion Golfer of the Year Cameron Smith gave ‘Little Eye’ a first look on his arrival at Hoylake and is looking forward to taking on the challenge.

Cameron Smith in action during a practice round ahead of The 151st Open

“I think it's a great hole,” he said.

“We played it on Sunday and it was straight into the wind, 30 or 40 miles an hour, and it was not a tee shot that you want to have.

“I hit 7-iron and I don't know if we're going to hit 7-iron again, but yeah, there's not much room for error up there. It will be a really exciting finish to an Open Championship, for sure.”

Conditions will be crucial to determining how successfully the 17th is navigated and with the weather set to worsen over the weekend, a dramatic conclusion could well be on the cards.

Brooks Koepka, like Smith, is a fan of the development and said: “It's an interesting hole.

“Depends on the wind. If you get a cross wind there, it could be pretty interesting.

“I'm a big believer in the short par-3s, make it difficult, exactly like that.

“I'm not a huge fan of 260, 250 [yards]. You already know it's a 3-iron and everybody is hitting to the same spot, where I think all the best par-3s in the world that have ever been designed are 165 yards or shorter.

“The 12th at Augusta, Sawgrass. I mean, Postage Stamp. There's a bunch of them, and you can walk away with 5 just as easy as you could a 2. I like it.”

All the twists and turns will be available to watch on a new Par-3 Channel, which will provide dedicated coverage from the exciting new hole.

Fans can expect enhanced audio on tee, enhanced shot data and a ‘crowd cam’ on a hole that could make or break the Championship for those at the top of the leaderboard, while the channel will also feature the deceptively tricky par-3 13th across the four days of action.

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