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Tour Report: Looking at early numbers on 18

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Tiger Woods watches as Brandt Snedeker putts at the 18th during Friday's first round of the Deutsche Bank Cham …

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR Tiger Woods watches as Brandt Snedeker putts at the 18th during Friday’s first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

NORTON, Mass. – Midway through Friday’s opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship, the much-discussed changes concerning the 18th green have made TPC Boston’s closing hole just a tad more difficult.

But it still remains the easiest hole on the course.

With 51 of the 98 golfers in the field having played the 18th, the stroke average is 0.471 under par, a slightly higher average than the hole has played in the first five years of the FedExCup Playoffs. Five eagles, 23 birdies, 20 pars and five bogeys have been recorded at the 18th thus far on Friday.

Of those five bogeys, four were the result of second shots that landed left of the green and into the surrounding area below the putting surface.

Bubba Watson did not bogey the hole but he did land his second shot on the left side. His chip ended up in the rough on the other side of the pin, and he got up and down from there to save par.

One of Watson’s playing partners, Dustin Johnson, hit his second shot into the bunker on the right side of the green. He blasted out to within six feet and made the birdie putt.

“You’ve got to think about where you’re hitting it for sure because if you miss it on the wrong side, like 18 if you miss it left and long, it’s not a good spot to be,” Johnson said. “You’ve definitely got to be cautious whatever you’re hitting into that green.”

Like Johnson, Luke Donald hit his second shot into the bunker, blasted out to within eight feet but couldn’t make the birdie putt.

“From my standpoint, I think they’ve made the slope off the back just one or two feet too deep,” Donald said. “But certainly it’s a tough shot if you go over the back. You certainly can hit a pretty good shot into that green and just trickle over, and then suddenly you’re doing well to give yourself a birdie opportunity.

“But it’s a par 5. It’s a short par 5. It should be a tough green, and I think they’ve accomplished that.”

Tiger Woods landed his second shot on the green and nearly holed his eagle putt. “A tricky little putt because it broke three different ways,” Woods recalled, “but it had a good speed and it looked like it had a chance.”

MORE ON THE 18TH: Players call changes ‘interesting’Video: Paulson on the changes


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