NCGA Amateur Match Play: Spyglass playing tougher on Tuesday
August 16, 2011
PEBBLE BEACH – After morning scores of the second round of the Amateur Match Play Championship were posted, scores showed to be trending higher than Monday’s opening round. Yesterday the 132 posted scores averaged a score of 77.811, with the low score being a 67 and the high a 93. Tuesday, after 58 scores were posted the average is almost a full stroke higher with the average coming in at 78.600, and there were only a total of two scores under par, both 71s—the Tuesday morning high was 93.
The higher scores are likely due to weather. Monday players enjoyed a rare sunshine-filled August day with rather benign conditions, but Tuesday the fog rolled-in bringing heavy wet air causing poor visibility for the players and temperatures 15 to 20 degrees cooler. Most noticeably the weather effects could be seen in Spyglass’s two holes that run parallel to the Pacific Ocean, numbers four and five. The two holes played 7th and 9th most difficult yesterday, but today ranked 2nd and 1st most difficult. Number five, the par 3, is especially playing more difficult as it ranks nearly a half stroke harder than it was yesterday having gone from 3.364 to 3.767.
Overall, the biggest difference from Monday to Tuesday can be seen from front nine scores alone. On Monday the front nine played as the easier of the two nines as it averaged 38.856 compared to the back nine’s 38.955. Today, the morning rounds averaged 39.483 more than half a stroke higher, while the back nine played only slightly harder with a 39.117 average.
Monday’s toughest hole was number 16, which played at .712 strokes over par (4.712). However, despite playing the toughest it surrendered more birdies (four) than number 13, which only gave up two among the 132 players. While 16 and 13 ranked first and second toughest on Monday they didn’t produce the most “others” (scores constituting a triple bogey or worse) as holes four and 18 each saw five “others” a piece.
Although the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design has played difficult in many aspects, the players did a good job of taking advantage of the par-5 11th Monday. The hole was the only one to play under-par with a 4.864 average, relinquishing 39 birdies, an eagle and a rare double-eagle. Matt Pinizzotto (above right) was the one who scored the albatross, and he had quite an encore performance on Tuesday as he scored an eagle. Pinizzotto, who almost assuredly will find his name among the 32 match play participants, has played the 11th 5-under in two days and has played the other 17 holes at a total of 9-over par.