RANCHO MIRAGE – The giant blue wall that was constructed behind the 18th green on the 2020 ANA Inspiration is not any extra. And its elimination has created a a lot completely different ending gap than gamers are used to.
Brittany Lincicome, a two-time winner of the ANA Inspiration, regarded on Monday as almost half-a-dozen teams hit their method pictures to what’s now a true island green on the par 5 ending gap at Mission Hills Country Club. For one of many longer hitters on tour, who twice eagled the par 5 en path to each her victories, Lincicome was shocked at what she noticed unfold.
“I saw a lot of balls go over the green in the water,” Lincicome advised GolfChannel.com. “Even last night, my caddie and I were talking about it, if we don’t have a 9-wood or less into that green, I don’t think we’re going to be able to go for it because I don’t think [the ball] will stop.”
In 2009, Lincicome made eagle on the 72nd gap with a 9-wood. In 2015, she made an eagle with a 5-iron. In 2021, Lincicome is drawing the road at 190 yards as the utmost distance during which she’d attempt to go for the green in two.
“If we’re not inside of that, we’re going to have to lay up with a lob wedge,” Lincicome stated with a chuckle. “If I’m reaching it with a 9-wood, obviously a lot of the other field can’t get there, so I think they should move [the tee] up as far as possible.”
When followers weren’t permitted on-site on the 2020 ANA Inspiration, there was no want for the normal grandstands or hospitality tents to be arrange behind the par-5 18th gap. Instead, a giant blue wall that includes the ANA emblem was constructed behind the green, nearer to the placing floor than the stands had been up to now. Both the stands and the blue wall served as a kind of backstop for gamers who may need gone lengthy with their method pictures into what was initially designed as an island green. It made the power to go for the green in two extra enticing for gamers who knew they might take reduction if want be.
The wall obtained blended critiques.
Eventual champion Mirim Lee was capable of take a free drop from the wall on the 72nd gap and chip in for eagle to get into a playoff with Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda. Henderson discovered herself tangled within the wall as nicely and took reduction. She made birdie.
For 2021, which is the fiftieth taking part in of the ANA Inspiration and likewise being contested with out followers, the match eliminated the blue wall, and with it, attainable controversy.
“It’s such a cool hole,” Lincicome stated. “It changes the whole outcome of the event.”