Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Sunday Pins at Grey Silo for the Final Round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

All right, building on my scouting reports on the front and back 9 here at Grey Silo, here are my observations on the Sunday pins for the final round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.

#1:  They brought the right traps into play on the opening hole with a front-right tucked pin position.  This also forces players looking for an opening birdie to play their 1st tee shot of the day further to the left and closer to the left fairway bunkers.  The course set-up people upped the ante on this hole today.

#2:  Very accessible pin in the front-middle of the green.  Big birdie op if you can put your tee shot in play.

#3:  It's tucked back left, but this is probably the easiest position to bounce it into with a slight draw.  Go too long, though, and you'll need great touch to save par.

#4:  Last night, I wrote, "Wonder if they'll go back left Sunday? There's a little mound there that can make things interesting...."  Well, that's where they put it!

#5:  They picked a back-right pin location that I think is in a little valley, the most accessible spot for those going for this short par 5 in 2!  Should also provide interesting choices for chips and pitches and little wedges in....

#6:  Last night, I wrote, "I didn't see many players take advantage of the bailout area past the right trap and to the right of the green; most chose instead to get as close to the left traps as possible on Saturday, despite the fact that the pin was cut front left, right under another back-left-quadrant mound (this one steeper than the one on the 5th).  But I think if the pin is back-left Sunday, you'll see more players going there."  Well, they went back-left shelf.  Let's see if the players adjust!

#7:  Last night, I wrote, "So far they've kept the pins to the front and right/back-right of the green to bring that front-right trap into play. Wonder if they'll give them a break on Sunday after a nasty one right behind the trap today?"  Well, they did--it's just past a third of the way back smack in the center of the green.

#8:  The back-left pin position brings some mounding in that quadrant into play on both putts and chips.  Key to stay below this one.

#9: Sucker pin toward the right side of the green about halfway back.  Just go left of the trap unless you absolutely need a birdie.

#10: Middle-left spot will test your accuracy with your wedges!  There's a mound and a ridge near that pin.

#11:  Back right may allow players to use a little backstop....

#12:  It's way left, just past halfway back, bringing that big bunker into play big-time!

#13:  Last night, I wrote, "Oh, and you have to hit it to the right tier, which, although not as severe as the one on 15, can be very difficult when the pin is tucked on the back one, as it was on Saturday. I'm thinking we'll see it front left Sunday to bring the left trap more into play...."  Well, I was right about the front part.  But it's more in the middle of the green than the left.  Good chance to see some backstop action on this hole, too.

#14:  This looks like it'll be atricky one, tucked a bit on the back tier or right under it.  Can't tell exactly where it is till I see it....

#15:  Well, I was looking for front right or back right today, but they went severely front left, bringing the huge trap left into play on both the tee shot and the approach shot.

#16: Back and middle-right spot should be a little easier to see from the fairway, maybe?  Should be right under the tier, so players should be able to do interesting things with spin for the grandstand.

#17:  They put the pin back left, which does bring trouble over into play but probably eliminates the wetlands right from being a factor in the final round unless someone does something Furyk-on-16-like (in the reverse direction)....

#18:  w00t!  Last night, I wrote, "I'd love to see an easy front-right pin position here to open up the possibility of a walkoff eagle winning the tournament!"  And that's exactly what they did!

OK, so far Meena Lee is -4 through 11 and there are a bunch of players -3 already behind her, so I'd say the set-up may be the easiest yet and the wind is not up.  Let's see how the leaders respond!  Time to head to the course!

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