18th at Oitavos in Portugal more difficult than Open venue Carnoustie's closer - has meltdown to back it up
When I played Carnoustie a few weeks back, site of the 2007 Open Championship, scoring a seven on the 18th wasn’t too hard. It makes you sympathize with Jean Van de Velde’s meltdown (but it’s still funny and Carnoustie seems to find great pleasure in catching the Frenchman with his pants up).
But southeast of Scotland there’s another championship course the pros play that is just as long, hard, and has an even worse 72nd hole score to back it up.
It’s the 18th at Oitavos in Cascais, Portugal, host of the 2005 European Tour Portuguese Open.
The choker this time was five-time tour winner Barry Lane. One shot up Sunday on the 18th tee, he took a nine.
Paul Broadhurst, who bogeyed 18, took the title and Lane finished four back.
Leading by one on the tee, he drive went left into bushes. He decided not to take a penalty and hit the ball, but too long into more bushes. His third shot hit the root of a tree and shot in the opposite direction out of bounds. He then took a drop and his new shot landed in an unplayable lie and a penalty stroke. He then hit up short of the green, chipped up and two-putted for a nine and a finish in fifth.
Lane has struggled on tour in the 18 months since.
Having played both myself (scored seven at Carnoustie *bow*, eight at Oitavos *five the second time, thank you*, I would say in similar weather Oitavos’ closer is harder.
After a moderate carry over a natural area, a tree splits the fairway in the landing zone, making the tee shot more narrow and intimidating. There is O.B. on both sides. The shot to the elevated green is also blind, because its tucked behind another sandy dune. The green is also very shallow for a mid or long iron approach.
Arthur Hills’ design firm certainly wanted to make a statement with this hole in their first overseas design here.
The European Tour will be coming back to Oitavos in the coming years. All eyes will be on Lane again, if he enters.
From the 18th tee at Oitavos the Atlantic Ocean is more visable than the narrow landing zone.
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