Hole 3 – Blown Out
Due to the size and shape of the teeing area and the large, Redan-style green, this hole will have plenty of options for play. The longest tee, stretching out to almost 200 yards, won’t be an option unless the pin is placed on the back half of the green, as stopping a long iron on the front half of the green is out of the question.
Setup 1 – (~185 yards) – Back left pin
Much like the 2nd green, the back left pin provides the most intimidating appearance from the tee, but is actually one of the easier pins to access, as the green naturally feeds balls to the back left. The only missteps here are aiming directly for the pin, which can result in catching the deep bunker on the front and left if short, or rolling through the green to the back collection area, which can happen if the ball lands anywhere on the back half of the green.
Setup 2 – (~150 yards) – Front right pin
If the U.S. Open plays as firm and fast as expected, this pin location will be borderline. The kickslope on the right will carry any balls that land there to the left and back of the green, while the steep slope in front of the green makes a run up shot difficult. If we do see this pin, I expect the tee to be almost 50 yards forward from the back tees, and placed on the left side to offer a better angle of approach. An accurate short iron will be necessary here, or the scoring average could go way here on Friday.
Setup 3 – (~200 yards) – Back right pin
This is the pin that will most likely be used with the longest tee area available on the 3rd. The key here is to land the ball on the first ⅓ of the green and let it release back to the pin. Any balls that fly to the middle of the green or further have gone too far, and will likely end up in back bunker A.
Setup 4 – (~160 yards) – Front left pin
Due to the right to left nature of the green, most of the far right tee locations available in this tee area likely will not be used, as holding the green becomes very difficult from that angle. A tee up around 160 yards, however, is entirely possible when laying to a front left pin. The greatest challenge with this pin is not the right to left slope, but rather the steep face at the front of the green. Catching this face could take the ball all of the way down into the bunker. A very subtle raised edge on the front left of the green only adds to the difficulty.
The most common approach here will be towards the middle of the green, leaving a difficult downhill 2-putt. This will be an intriguing and difficult pin on Sunday for those trying to gain ground on the leaders.