The fourth and final Major of the year returns to Bellerive Country Club for the first time since 1992. And what will be only the third time the course has held a Major since the 1965 US Open.
Outside of two Senior Majors and the 2008 BMW Championship, there is not a whole lot of course form to go on.
If you go back to the start of the century there has been a handful of players that have gone on to win at big pre-tournament odds, and given 10 of the last 12 Majors have gone to first-time winners, don’t be afraid to look beyond the market leaders, especially if they have been playing well recently or won at any time earlier in the season.
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Bellerive course details
The course itself is a long par 70 measuring 7,329 yards, with only two par-5s, measuring 610 and 597 yards respectively. Added to that there are two par-4s that measure over 500 yards so you would expect the big hitters to be at an advantage against the field.
Given that the course has been used so few times for Majors, with the last being in 1992 it is difficult to form strong opinions of what it takes to win around here.
Holes to be aware of for in-play trading
Holes 3, 7 and 14
3: The third hole at only 148 yards looks to be one of the easier on the course and should offer plenty of birdie opportunities early in the round.
7: One of the shorter par-4s on the course at only 394-yards. Players should not have much difficulty hitting the fairway, giving them a great opportunity to attack the flag for a birdie.
14: Another fairly short par-4 at only 410-yards with a huge inviting green that should yield plenty of opportunists for players to move up the leaderboard near the end of their round.
Holes 6, 9 and 18
6: The 6th hole is an incredibly tough 231-yard par-3 with a tiny green to aim at making it just as difficult to aim for the front of the green as well as the back right. Hole placement will be key to how this plays, but it could present plenty of drama and dropped shots.
9: Far from the longest par-4 on the course, the 9th presents different problems. It has an uphill approach to what is described as one of the most complicated greens to read on the course, making it difficult for players to gauge the distance in order to be hole-high, which is important.
18: Any errant tee shots on the par-4 18th will see players facing huge difficulty on what will be the hardest green to hit if you are not on the fairway. The test will be further pressurised if the hole is placed back and right. This could make for great drama come the final round on Sunday.
Characteristics needed to perform well
There are a couple of traits that stand out when trying to identify what makes for a potential winner of the last Major of the year.
Good recent form looks to be a strong factor heading into the final Major of the year, with ten of the last eleven winners having performed very well or contended the week before at Firestone.
A win earlier in the season would also seem to count for a lot as regards this tournament with 16 of the last 19 having already won that year.
However, unlike the other three Majors, which share the same makeup – the US Masters is always held at Augusta – and the The Open and the US Open are setup tom play out in the same demanding way year after year, this Major has thrown up some massive shocks and big priced winners over the years.
None more so than the only time Tiger Woods has lost a Major when leading going into the final round in 2009 to little known South Korean Y.E. Yang.