High stakes changes coming to Eureka Temp

High stakes changes coming to Eureka Temp

High stakes define Hole 17 at Lake Eureka. This year, the stakes get even higher. 

The drop zone is changing, one of two total changes to Eureka Temp for the 2023 Ledgestone Open.

Imagine another Paul McBeth and Ricky Wysocki battle for the ages.

Let’s set the scene with a dramatic throw-in for eagle on Hole 16 by McBeth, putting him in front by two strokes. All the momentum that has been building up to this point has suddenly swung in his favor with one hole to play. He controls everything now.

But even the 6-time world champion feels the pressure as he steps onto the tee and looks down the grassy slope to the water’s edge and beyond to the far shore where throngs of fans have gathered to watch this very moment.

Sure, the tee shot plays downhill, so the 310-foot measurement takes a little less power than the distance might indicate, but the final 240 feet of water carry, followed by an island less than 40 feet deep, is enough to cause the greatest players to tremble.

In the heat of the moment, the Discraft star puts a touch of extra power on his Luna with a backhand hyzer. A slight air bounce is all that’s needed to lift the disc up and over the menacing out-of-bounds sidewalk deep of the pin. 

Watching from just behind the tee, Wysocki recognizes the moment. He makes the adjustment and casually spikes an overstable forehand onto the island green just a few feet from the basket.

In years prior, McBeth would have proceeded to the 175-foot drop zone on the edge of the lake where he would have calmly pitched up to the basket and guaranteed a bogey to ensure Wysocki didn’t take the lead outright.

But this year the drop zone is different. 

Now an OB tee shot gives players a 50-foot death putt from between the spectating bleachers while staring slightly directly at the lake. 

In our hypothetical McBeth-Wysocki showdown, McBeth is now presented with an opportunity to not just maintain a share of the lead with a bogey, but to save par and keep the lead all to himself. However, it also opens the door for a missed putt that rolls into the water and punishes him with a painful double-bogey, giving Wysocki sole possession of the lead.

This change adds an extra element of intrigue down the stretch, tacking on more pressure to the drop zone shot and bringing in the realistic opportunity of a 3-stroke swing on the pen-ultimate hole of the tournament.

The iconic Hole 17 at Lake Eureka produced a total of 67 OB strokes in 2022.

But Hole 17 won’t be the only change for 2023. Hole 10 will also see added OB.

Previously, the left side of the hole dividing the 10th and 11th fairways was the only OB besides the river deep of the basket. Now the right side rough is also OB, extending all the way inside the edge of Circle 1 at one point and creating an almost peninsula-shaped green.

This will add more separation to a hole that resulted in par at worst for 87% of the field in 2022.

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