Why did Quail Hollow’s unusual setting give this American team an advantage

Colin Morikawa hit close-kicks on 14 of 17 holes in his four-way win with Cameron Young.

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The ingenuity of Colin Morikawa in shooting the ball is undisputed.

The 25-year-old had a general decline by his standards: He finished only third on SG: Approach The Green on the PGA Tour last season.

Due to Quail Hollow’s unique redirect in this year’s Presidents Cup, Morikawa and partner Cameron Young were able to harness his power by having Morikawa blast off into the even-numbered holes in their 2-1 quadruple win over Tom Kim and KH Lee on Thursday.

Xander Shaveli and Patrick Cantlie at the 2022 Presidents Cup.

Here are the Friday Presidents Cup pairings and matches for the Four Balls session


Josh Beerhau

This week’s Quail Hollow instructable contains all 3 par-3s as an even numbered hole and two of the three par-5s. The one par-5 that isn’t a flat hole? He was the seventh most accessible in the opening round, playing at just 527 yards, downwind. Morikawa put the second shot on that hole to 17 feet for the Eagle from 171 yards.

Overall, Morikawa hit the close to the green on 15 of 17 holes in the match. This is all eight of the odd numbers par-4s, the four par-3s and all three par-5s – the seventh is an attempt under the GIR. Hit six of them 10 feet away.

This also played into Young’s strength as one of the main drivers on the PGA Tour. He was second on the tour at SG: Off-The-Tee.

“This course really sets up where, for example, if you play odds or you play the odds, you take the majority of a given shot,” Morikawa said after the match. “Cam hit a lot of drivers. She hit a lot of iron. That’s kind of describing our golf games. We were able to fuel that.”

It is not only a strategy that can benefit strong players and strong drivers, but it can also benefit stronger speculators.

Jordan slept in single holes and prepared to hit nine of his bullets and Justin Thomas.

Spieth struggled on the Greens last season, but finished in the top ten in SG: placing three times in his career, and was known for his outstanding racing position that led him to three majors in several seasons from 2015 to 2017.

Thomas certainly isn’t weak with a flat stick, and Speth said deciding who to play the odds and right wasn’t an easy one.

“We had a hard time deciding who would go and settle,” he said. “We didn’t decide until late last night. If we had the chance again, we might change it.”

Jack Hirsch

Golf.com Editor
Jack Hirsch is an associate editor at GOLF. Born in Pennsylvania, Jack graduated in 2020 from Pennsylvania State University, with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was the captain of the high school golf team and is still *trying* to remain competitive among the local amateurs. Prior to joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working for a television station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a multimedia journalist/reporter but also producing, anchoring and even presenting weather. He can be reached at jack.hirsh@golf.com.

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