Rory McIroy made it to the weekend after he played the last seven holes in 3 under, but had a first-hand look at the carnage. He was on the 11th green when he witnessed Spieth’s tee shot finding the water at No. 12 – “That’s a good visual,” he said. And he watched playing partner Koepka blow it over the 12th green with his tee shot.
“It’s gusty. It’s hard to commit to a number because the wind is so much up and down,” McIlroy said. “And the greens are getting firm and that makes it hard to stop it. Hitting it on the green and making two putts and par is the name of the game.”
Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, related how the wind affect him and playing partner Seamus Power at No. 12.
“I hit it in the water,” Reed said. “I hit an 8-iron and overturned it left and it went 133 yards. Seamus hit 8-iron and flew it into the back bunker. You have to figure out what gust it’s going to hit and what direction it’s going and it just makes this place even harder.”
The key, said veteran Lee Westwood, is to miss in the proper place, just to have a chance to get up and down.
“A couple of times where Russell Henley, who I was playing with, I thought he hit a couple of good shots and got up there and he had no chance of getting up and down,” Westwood said. “I missed in the back trap on 12. (And took double-bogey.) It’s just very awkward. Very tricky. You have a lot of control and a little bit of luck today.”