PINEHURST, N.C. — Par 5s are usually a birdie fest for tour pros because they’re the most ‘gettable’ holes on the golf course. But that might not be the case this week at Pinehurst No. 2.

During the first round of the U.S. Open, the par-5 10th hole had a scoring average of 4.94, and that’s 34 percent higher than the PGA Tour average.

While it’s the longest hole on the course at 619 yards, it wasn’t the distance that tripped players up. It was the green. Players had a hard time holding the famous turtleback green, as shots that deviated more than a couple yards right of the hole funnelled into the collection area behind the green, leaving them with a sticky, into-the-grain lie that made it challenging to get the ball up the severe slope. Many players, like Will Zalatoris and Matteo Manaserro, fell victim to the dreaded double chip and watched with disappointment as their ball came rolling back to their feet.

Players that missed the green left didn’t get off easy either as they were subjected to tricky lies from the native area or greenside bunker and had to land these 20-30 yard finesse shots onto a small plateau about 15 feet in diameter, or risk rolling off the green.

Throughout the round, players seemed to figure out that leaving their shots short was the ideal miss as it allowed them to land shots into the grain and gave them plenty of green to work with.

Although the par 5 is still playing under par, it could end up being a determining hole as the weekend rolls around as players that are able to make birdie or better will gain at least a stroke, maybe more, on the field.

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