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Pedigreed for a Championship


D


espite being tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, 30 minutes south of San Jose, the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed layout at CordeValle in San


Martin is no stranger to high-profile events. Opened in 1999, the course returns to the spotlight again July 7-10 as the venue for the 71st U.S. Women’s Open. But the world’s best women golfers will face a slightly different routing than ones used during previous tournaments. When the PGA TOUR played the


Frys.com Open at CordeValle from 2010 through 2013, the nines were flipped. In 2013, the original rout- ing was used during the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. Competitors in this year’s U.S. Women’s Open will begin on the original fourth hole and continue through the ninth (as holes 1 through 6); then the standard first, second and third holes will close out the front-nine. The back-nine remains unchanged. While the change primarily


addresses crowd logistics, it also offers a gentler start according to CordeValle head professional Ray Otis. “Their first hole is going to be, while not a breath- er hole, an easier opener than our usual opening hole,” he said. “The par-4 is a little bit shorter and more friendly off the tee and there’s more room to get up and down if they miss the green.” Befitting a national championship


is a strong four-hole closing stretch. “The 15th will be a reachable par-5 while the 16th is a par-3 where you can definitely make birdie,” said Otis. “However, if you land on the wrong side of the ridges on that green, it makes for a tough two-putt. The 17th is a demanding par-4 with multiple bunkers, and the par-5 18th, even though it may be moderately reachable in two shots, is still a demanding driv- ing hole. There’s a creek on the left and bailout room on the right, but that creek is back in play on the second shot if you go too far right.”


28 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2016


No. 11


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