DALY CITY, Calif. — Lake Merced Golf Club is a tough test every year the LPGA arrives here, but the hole locations this week are giving it an even more brutish edge.
Thick rough, pinched fairways in the landing areas and bone-chilling winds have all made scoring difficult this week.
So, in particular, have so many hole locations cut on the edges of greens that are firming up quickly.
“Yeah, they’re pretty tough,” Bronte Law said after putting up a 3-over-par 75 that left her tied for 20th. “When you take them that close to the edges, on greens that have firmed up, with pins on slopes, you are really having to work hard for pars.
“You have to hit miracle shots to have birdie chances on some of these holes.”
The scoring average in the first round was 74.08, which was higher than in any round of the ANA Inspiration, the year’s first major. Only the third round of the Vic Open, played in high winds, produced a higher scoring average this year (75.73). Saturday’s scoring average at Lake Merced was 73.58.
Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship
“They’re tucking some of these pins, putting them on three degrees of slope,” Lexi Thompson said after posting a 69 to move into a tie for fourth. “It’s hard, and once it starts blowing, it’s hard to actually get close to these hole locations.”
There were only four rounds in the 60s posted on Saturday, with Minjee Lee’s 67 the lowest round.
“They’re very tough [hole locations],” Louise Ridderstrom said after posting an even-par 72 to move into a tie for fourth. “I hit my irons very well today and still only shot even par.
“I think there might have been players who putted it off the ninth green.”
The hole at No. 9 was cut 4 paces from the left, front edge of the ninth green, which is located at the top of a hill in front of the clubhouse. Any approach shot coming up short there was in danger of rolling all the way back down the hill. Any approach to the back of that green left a player in danger of putting it off the front of the green.
The hole at the 10th was also cut four paces from the left, front edge of that green.
Law said there were so many delicate putts to be navigated.
“It was definitely U.S. Open-esque in spots,” she said.