No. 16 at TPC Twin Cities was all reward, no risk on Saturday


Some of the greatest storylines in golf have been built around risk-reward holes.

The 10th at Riviera entices big hitters to fire away from an elevated tee to a tiny target portion of the green.

• No. 17 at TPC Scottsdale allows players to go for the gusto, but water down the left side can make for some nasty medicine for those who miss (or who putt into it).

• The Flowering Peach (No. 3) at Augusta National has been altered less than any other because Alister MacKenzie thought it was a near-perfect design, teasing players with its length, but with a thin strip of green to aim for only the most daring choose to take the bait.

But what if a risk-reward hole is only really the latter? That’s what’s happened Saturday at TPC Twin Cities on the short-made-shorter No. 16, which essentially became eye candy for PGA Tour golfers.

With the tees pushed up, the hole was barely a full driver for some in the field. The hole became simple target practice.

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Cameron Tringale was one of five to eagle the hole on Saturday, his highlight in putting together a career-tying 63 — the same number he’d posted back in 2011 at the Northern Trust.

“Yeah, 16 they had the tee way up so it was drivable. I think it was 289 to the hole straight into the wind. I cut a little driver to like 20 feet middle of the green and rolled that one in,” Tringale said. “That was a nice spark to get my round to the next level. I love making eagles, they’re so fun. That just put a boost in my step and kept rolling it from there.”

A back-left pin placement allowed players to take aim, since they had ample room to land the ball coming into the flag. The forward tees made a hole that had played difficult the first two days far too easy.

While Tringale was one of five eagles, the hole also surrendered 39 birdies to just 22 pars. Only two players in the entire field bogeyed the hole, which played to just 3.309 strokes. The hole had played to 3.994 and 4.092 the first two days.

Tony Finau, who is tied for second at 13-under, made a bit of a mess of the hole, pushing his drive right into a native area, but he did salvage par with a solid six-foot par putt. Afterward, he acted like he’d taken a big weight off by salvaging par at the short hole.

“(It was a) nice break on 16, I thought that was just huge for me to make 4 there. On a drivable hole, you don’t really want to give up a shot, so I was happy to make 4 and just get in the clubhouse only a couple shots back,” Finau said.

Before the inaugural event last year, tournament director Hollis Cavner said he thought TPC Twin Cities would offer a formidable challenge to Tour players. The course had previously hosted a Champions Tour event.

”We want birdies and train wrecks,” Cavner said. ”We feel very comfortable that this golf course is going to play hard and fast. It’s going to play long. If we get wind, it’s a game-changer.”

Tee and pin placements like those on No. 16 did plenty to bring birdies Saturday, but not train wrecks.



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