US Open 2016: Players Criticize Decision to Make Par-3 8th 299 Yards

June 19, 2016

OAKMONT, Pa. — There were rumors that Oakmont’s par-3 8th hole might play over 300 yards for the U.S. Open this week, and it was just about there on Sunday.

And some pros weren’t happy.

The eighth stretched out to 299 yards today, the longest its been all week. The pin was placed five yards from the right side of the green and 25 yards from the front.

In the course set-up notes for Round 4, it reads: “(Course architect Henry) Fownes designed this hole to be played with drivers and 3-woods. Today’s southwest breeze will be hurting and sightly from the right, making this hole play even a bit longer.”

But hitting a 3-wood or even a driver into a par-3 isn’t fun for pro golfers. A couple of them, Justin Thomas and Luke Donald, expressed that after their rounds.

Donald joked that it was a drivable par-4, and Thomas said that some pros can’t even reach the green from the tee. Through the first three rounds, the 8th had a scoring average of 3.305, ranked as the seventh hardest hole on the course. Sunday, it was the sixth hardest hole, with a scoring average of 3.298 and just three birdies.