‘That was different’: Players take advantage of shortened ‘par 4’ at Zozo

CHIBA, Japan – After historic rain, it came down to an IT problem.

Torrential rain from Typhoon Bualoi dropped nearly 10 inches of rain on Narashino Country Club on Friday and maintenance crews worked through the night to make the course playable. The layout drained well with the exception of the par-4 10th hole, which turned into a lake overnight and wasn’t playable.

The hole was shortened to about 150 yards, but because of the difficultly of changing par on the circuit’s scoring system, it remained a par 4.

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The move unsurprisingly skewed scoring wildly. Viktor Hovland, playing in the day’s first group off No. 10, made eagle, one of 16 made on the round. The hole also yielded 52 birdies, eight pars and no bogeys or worse.

“I mean, I started on a par 4 that was only 150 yards, so that was different. That’s one of the hardest driving holes out here, so that’s not a drive you want to start on,” said Gary Woodland, who birdied No. 10 and at 10 under is alone in second place behind Tiger Woods. “Fortunately, today we had a little 9-iron, which was great.”

The water had already receded before play was completed Saturday, and officials anticipate playing the normal tee, which puts the hole’s yardage back at 376 yards, for the final two rounds.

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