LOS ANGELES – When plotting your way around Riviera Country Club, the most vexing decision often comes on the 10th tee.
That’s where players at this week’s Genesis Open will be faced with one of the biggest risk-reward decisions offered each year on the PGA Tour. While the hole measures just 315 yards from the tips, a misplaced shot into a shallow and severely-sloped green can often lead to bogey – or worse.
It’s a decision that tournament host Tiger Woods hasn’t faced since 2006, and as he gets set to make his return to his former hometown event he still hasn’t made up his mind about how to tackle No. 10.
“I have done both, I’ve gone for it and I’ve laid up, and I’ve been very unsuccessful both ways,” Woods said Tuesday. “I believe the percentage is right around 51, 52 percent who go for it make birdie. It’s a toss-up, it really is.”
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Woods birdied No. 10 all four days back in 2003, and his all-time record on the hole stands at 12 under in 36 career competitive rounds. But he admitted that the options afforded to players on the hole have changed significantly thanks to equipment advances over the last quarter century.
“I remember hitting a 3-iron or sometimes a cut 2-iron to the left, and then wedge it on,” Woods said. “No one really went for it because at the time I first played here as a junior (1992), most of the professionals were first using persimmon (woods) and balata balls, the balls weren’t going very far. Obviously the game’s changed. Today I hit 3-wood, landed on the green and it went over.”