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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 252
The par-4 12th hole’s 65-yard-long green [pictured, main] could see three and four putts resulting from a poor approach and is immediately followed by the intimidating and aptly named ‘Cliffs’ par-3 13th [pictured, top right], which requires precision to avoid the gnarly hillside rough left of the green, and a steep drop-off and bunkers to the right. Phillips’ standout piece of design on the course, however, is the second of the par-3s coming in. Played across the rocky shore of the North Sea to a sliver of green, the 15th hole [pictured, bottom right] sees the woods return along the left-hand side, hindering players’ judgement of the wind, making an already difficult shot almost impossible when the flag is placed in the back right section. Even if a player manages to plot their way through the first 71 holes without incident, a winner won’t be crowned until they successfully find the final green, which sits beyond a deep swale with a tournament ending burn at its depths. Likely to be among the contenders despite missing the cut at the Scottish Open, Lydia Ko will enjoy the creativity required at Kingsbarns. “Especially in links-style golf,” Ko said, “and with the weather part of it, too, you just never know until the very end.” Like Ko, the premium placed on shot-making and course management favours defending champion, Ariya Jutanugarn, who will fancy her chances of rediscovering her early season form, requiring less than driver from many of the tees and capitalising on her exceptional iron-play to attack the large greens.
GA Express 251
GA Express 253