Ryder Cup holes to watch out for feature quartet of par fives

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It’s no secret that Gleneagles is a course which can play far harder depending on strength and direction of the wind, though big-hitters such as Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson will be rewarded for their extra distance off the tee….if they are accurate that is.

Before a ball is struck skywards, Europe remain odds-on favourites to lift the Samuel Ryder trophy, although the USA are not unfancied at 13/8.

As one would expect at a course designed by the great Jack Nicklaus and deemed fit for the most prestigious match play event golf has to offer, the PGA Centenary lay-out at Gleneagles will test all facets of the 24 players’ games.

We’ve scoped out some of the most potentially decisive holes on the par 72 track nestled into Scotland’s beautiful Perthshire countryside. As it should be, the back nine feels like where the point scoring could be most frenzied.

On the way out:

2 – “Western Greenwells”, 516 yards, Par 5

The first of four longy’s comes early and many of the players will be on for birdie with two solid shots, though the likes of Watson and McIlroy will have eagles in their sights. Keep an eye on USA rookie Patrick Reed, ranked highest of all 24 players on the PGA Tour’s Par 5 eagle stats with 11.

4 – “Gowden Beastie”, 211 yards, Par 3

Don’t be fooled by the yardage, this is one of the trickiest holes on the course where anything but a deadly accurate tee shot will have players scrambling just to make par. Leading the PGA Tour in scrambling, Jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia.

9 – “Crook O’ Moss”, 618 yards, Par 5

The most testing par five on the course comes before the turn, where only the biggest and bravest hitters will be rewarded. Accuracy off the tee is vital and Henrik Stenson features high on the European Tour stats in that respect.

Coming home:

11 – “Laich Burn”, 350 yards, Par 4

Providing players keep it away from the right with their opening shots, it’s free rein on birdies here.

14 – “Nebit Knowe” 320 yards, Par 4

Another eagle chance for the longer hitters given the distance involved. Keegan Bradley and Jimmy Walker will be among those guys tempted to drive the green as things hot up down the stretch.

16 – “Lochan Loup”, 518 yards, Par 5

Again, the lengthier guys off the tee can get on the green without the need for a third shot, so players such as Ryder Cup freshman Victor Dubuisson – ranked seventh in driving distance on the European Tour – should excel.

18 – “Dun Roamin”, 513 yards Par 5

Amusingly named, it’s always great to finish with a flourish on another scoring chance. However, playing uphill and with such a well-protected green this hole is bound to throw up all the required drama if things are tight.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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