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Eugene Country Club Preview for NCAA Men's Golf Preview
NCAA Eugene Regional Live Stats (via Golfstat.com)
No. 6 seed Liberty had its first look at the Eugene Country Club today as the Flames were one of 13 teams who played their practice round, before the beginning of NCAA Men's Golf Regional action starts tomorrow.
The Flames will be looking to finish as one of the top five teams at the NCAA Eugene Regional, which would earn them a trip to next week's NCAA Men's Golf National Championship (May 23-28 at the Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.).
The Eugene Country Club has a long-standing history of association with postseason NCAA men's golf action.
The course, which originally opened in 1899, served as the host site for the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship in 1959 (won by Houston) and 1978 (Oklahoma State).
The course was renovated by famed world golf architect Robert Trent Jones in 1966 to its current set-up. The 18-hole course, which normally plays at a par 72 and 6,854 yards to its membership, will play at a par 70 and 6,990 yards for this week's regional championship.
Eugene Country Club continues to shine today and was named as the No. 56 Best Modern Course in the country in 2009 by Golfweek.
Below is a brief hole-by-hole description of Eugene Country Club. No. 6 seed Liberty will tee off No. 10 (par 4 401 yards) at 8:20 a.m. (PST), tomorrow morning, along with golfers from No. 4 seed South Carolina and No. 5 seed Baylor.
No. 1 hole (par 4, 395 yards)
Eugene Country Club opens up with the second-shortest par 4 on the course at 395 yards. The fairway is open off the tee, with bunkers lining either side of the landing area. The green is the deepest on the front nine (39 yards) and slopes severely from back to front and has very little flat putting areas.
No. 2 hole (par 3, 228 yards)
The first of three par 3 holes on the front nine, No. 2 serves as the longest par 3 on the course at 228 yards. The right side of the green is protected by a large bunker with left-side pin placements providing a more open look from the tee. The green is a two-tiered green that is mostly flat on the upper tier.
No. 3 (par 4, 425 yards)
A tee shot to the middle or right off the fairway is best on this hole to avoid the two large bunkers left of the fairway near the drive landing area. Players will hit a mid-iron shot to an elevated green that is well guarded by three bunkers. The front left and right bunkers are very deep and will penalize the players should they find them and the pin in up front.
No. 4 (par 4, 408 yards)
The hole appears to be much longer off the tee than its 408 yard listing. The landing area off the tee is open, unlike the green that has a smaller opening to the front left. The No. 4 green is one of the smaller greens on the course and is already firm before regional play begins and no rain is in the forecast until this weekend.
No. 5 (par 3, 155/192 yards)
The No. 5 hole is one of three holes that will give the committee some versatility to change up the holes throughout regional play with two different tee lengths (155 and 192 yards). The green is well below either elevated tee box and is the narrowest on the course at 22 yards deep. The green is mostly flatter and scoring on this hole could depend upon the wind and which tee box is being used on that given day.
No. 6 (par 5, 545 yards)
Unlike most of the rest of the holes at the Eugene Country Club, the first par 5 on the course has a great deal of elevation changes. Players will hit an uphill tee shot in between a pair of bunkers about 280 yards out, leaving them two shots to get to the much lower green. Longer hitters off the tee can cut the corner and leave themselves a chance to reach the green in two. From the top of the hill, players will have about 175 to 190 yards to hit in order to reach the bottom of the fairway that ends with a small pond. The green is wide and about runs about 30 yards deep, with a pair of tiers that are mostly flat on each one.
No. 7 (par 3, 200 yards)
The No. 7 hole is one of the more picturesque on the course and will require players to carry a longer iron over water to reach the green. The green collects in the middle and has two higher tiered areas, which are in the back and far to the right off the tee.
No. 8 (par 4, 485 yards)
No. 8 is the first of a handful of lengthy par 4 holes on the course. Players will look to draw the ball off the tee around the overhanging tees near the left edge of the fairway. Approach shots to the green will be around 200 yards, which will make this a tough hole for the players. The green is surrounded by thick rough and is only accessible from the opening in the front if you do not want to carry the bunker, which is front left.
No. 9 (par 4, 450 yards)
The fairway tee shot is much more open than most at the Eugene Country Club, which will allow players to hit driver to make up for the longer distanced on the front nine closing hole. The larger green, the second deepest on the front nine, is guarded by large, deep bunkers to the left and right. Pin locations in the back of the green will provide for flatter putts and most likely lower scores.
No. 10 (par 4, 401 yards)
Players looking to avoid the bunkers near the left side of the fairway will need to have their shot fade around a large tree that overhangs the landing area in the fairway at No. 10. The green, which is guarded by two bunkers left and one to the right, slopes from back to front and is over 30 yards deep.
No. 11 (par 4, 424 yards)
The No. 11 hole is a quintessential Eugene Country Club hole that uses the large trees all around the course to shape the direction of the hole. Players will need to carry 260 yards to get beyond the trees that are at the dogleg right turn toward the green. There is water short and right of the hole and balls hit to the shallow front of the green could roll off the putting surface and back into the hazard.
No. 12 (par 3, 168/183 yards)
The 15-yard different between the two possible tee boxes are not what makes the change in hole beginning locations challenging. The longer distance (183 yards) is completely over water and will require players to cut the ball into the green that is flatter on the top and guarded deep by two bunkers. Shots that come up short of the green could roll back into the water hazard.
No. 13 (par 5, 525 yards)
The tee shot is the first mostly open tee shot on the back nine (save the trees directly left near the driving area). The ground in the landing area is very undulating and will leave second shots around 230 yards. The green is protected in the front by a large bunker, which will force most players to lay up about 40 to 50 yards out. If players elect to go for the green in two and miss left or right, very thick rough could make for a challenging up and down for a birdie.
No. 14 (par 4, 405 yards)
Another narrow opening off the tee will require players to cut shots slightly right to stay away from a large tree just off the left edge of the fairway near the landing area. Ideal drives will leave about 140 yards to one of the flatter greens on the course, which means the hole could yield some birdies, if played correctly.
No. 15 (par 4, 440 yards)
No. 15 requires a straight drive off the tee to find the landing area that starts to dogleg back toward the elevated green that is unseen from the tee box. If the pin is located in the back of the 38-yard deep green, this could be a hole where players pick up a birdie. If the pin is over the front bunker or near the back right of the green (that rolls off to the right), scores could be much higher on this hole.
No. 16 (par 4, 492 yards)
This hole typically plays as a par 5 to the membership, but will play as a par 4 during this week's regional championship. Par will be a good score on this hole and anything left off the tee will leave players with a tough approach as you have to contend with another overhanging tree about 120 yards out. No. 16 has the deepest green on the course at 44 yards, which will be helpful as players will be hitting longer irons into the green.
No. 17 (par 4, 315/347 yards)
The final tee box with options for different yardages, No. 17 is a reprieve from the daunting No. 16 hole as it is the shortest par 4 on the course. Either tee box starting location will require players to avoid the large tree on the right edge of the fairway. Players will have a shorter wedge shot to this green because of the hole's length. The green slopes from back to front and will roll off the front of the green slightly if left short.
No. 18 (par 4, 445 yards)
A bid to the NCAA Men's Golf Championship will likely be on the line when the final teams approach the closing hole on this course on Saturday. The hole is more open than most off the tees and players could elect to use a driver to leave a shorter approach shot. The green has the most undulation on the course and will require an accurate approach if players want to close their round with a birdie.
Liberty's tee times for tomorrow's NCAA Eugene Regional are as follows (all PST): Jacob Mast (8:20 a.m.), Ian McConnell (8:31 a.m.), Niklas Lindstrom (8:42 a.m.), Mathieu Fenasse (8:53 a.m.) and Chase Marinell (9:04 a.m.).
LibertyFlames.com will be on the course once again providing live hole-by-hole coverage for one of the Flames' starting give golfers via its @LUGameDay Twitter feed. Live scoring for all three rounds will be provided by Golfstat.com.