Woods entered the AT&T after winning his last five tournaments, but his streak was in danger on Monday. He was seven shots down to rookie Matt Gogel with seven holes to go.
But then, we saw magic.
When Woods reached the 15th tee at Pebble Beach Golf Links, he would say later, "I figured I needed to birdie the last four holes."
Instead, he began his finish by jarring his 97-yard second shot from the fairway for eagle.
Woods unleashed his trademark first-pump, and went on to play the last four holes in 4-under to beat Gogel by two shots for his sixth straight win.
But this week,
That tee shot that was 97 yards out? It probably would have funneled in a pot bunker placed in the left-center of the fairway.
"You'll see today that Arnold Palmer and his team put a pot bunker right in the middle of the fairway, and one of the things we did was shave the rough around that so balls will actually feed into it," said Mike Davis, the USGA's senior director of rules and competition. "What that really makes you do is pick the right club off the tee to avoid that."
There wasn't any room for the 397-yard par 4 to gain yardage, so Palmer decided to armor the left side of the fairway with five bunkers around the landing area off the tee. The new bunkers come into play anywhere
The hole used to demand a draw off the tee around trees less than 100 yards out. But those trees have died, so the Pebble Beach Company had to figure out another way to protect the left side. They installed the bunkers in 2005.
"It used to be where you were trying to avoid some trees off the tee, some Monterey pines that they lost because of pitch canker disease, and now that's not the obstacle, but you've got these bunkers out in the drive zone," Davis said.
Like the new bunkers on Nos. 2 and 3, the ones on No. 15 are visually interesting.
"Arnold's approach was the bunkers have gotten too rounded and just too soft," said RJ Harper, senior vice president of golf for Pebble Beach. "The course needed a little more flair in its bunkers."
If you leave your drive to the right, which is where the tee box still points you, there is a chance of hitting 17 Mile Drive, which is out of bounds. A series of cypress trees were also planted in the right rough to balance the hole.
In all, the hole now has nine bunkers, tied for the most on the course. Three bunkers surround one of the flatter greens at Pebble Beach, but it does have its share of subtle breaks.
Kevin Merfeld can be reached at 646-4457 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
·Yardage: 397 yards
·What's new: Five new bunkers in drive zone, including pot bunker in middle of fairway