You would have thought Tiger Woods was completing another seven-shot comeback the way he celebrated sinking a putt on the 16th hole during Sunday's final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links in the 2000 U.S. Open.

It was just a par putt, and he was merely protecting a 15-shot lead.

But the 15-footer kept a bogey-free day alive. Woods stopped himself when talking about his highlight of the day — after all, he had just won the U.S. Open in epic fashion — but the first thought that popped into his mind was that putt.

"I think the highlight of — well, I don't want to say the highlight," said Woods, just after his triumphant victory. "But one of the biggest moments of the day was when I buried that putt on No. 16.

Used for embedding a single video in an article
I worked so hard not to make a bogey, and have a 15-footer for par. If I missed that putt, I would have been pissed at myself."

It was an unusual highlight on an uncelebrated hole.

The 16th hole is the overlooked opening act before headliners Nos. 17 and 18. There was no room to expand the tee that backs up against 17 Mile Drive, so the par 4 plays just 404 yards.

Since most pros won't be hitting driver, the USGA decided to essentially cut the fairway in half and only use the right side of it. The left edge of the fairway now borders a cross bunker that used to sit in the middle of the fairway.

"Some of the holes — just like we do for virtually every Open — got narrowed," said Mike Davis, the USGA's Senior Director of Rules and Competition for the Pebble Beach Company.


"For the most part, holes that got narrowed really were the shorter holes, like the first hole, the third hole, Nos. 15 and 16. Those are holes that for the world's best players, resort-wide fairways just wouldn't be enough of a challenge for them."

Since it's only a 245-yard layup to keep your drive in front of two bunkers that creep in on the right side of the fairway, the USGA will also grow out some of the toughest rough on the course — a philosophy known as "graduated rough."

"If you're hitting a wedge or 9-iron into maybe the first hole, or Nos. 15 and 16, the rough is going to be a little bit penal if you're close to the fairway," Davis said. "If you take one of the long holes like Nos. 2, 9 or 10, where they may have longer irons or hybrids into it, then we're going to have a little less rough."

The fairway dips down and to the right, wrapping around the two bunkers on the right side. An aggressive drive over those two bunkers could leave a pro less than 100 yards into a green that slopes strongly from right to left.

But if you don't take the perfect line, you will be blocked out by cypress trees that frame the fairway.

"Even though the drive will have changed significantly, Nos. 15 and 16 are two holes that, coming in, if you play them properly and don't try to get aggressive, you ought to be able to get by," Davis said. "There's enough really tough holes here at Pebble, but those are two that you ought to be able to manage."

No. 16
·Yardage: 403 yards
·Par: 4
·What's new: Narrowed fairway and pushed it to the right