Oakland Hills, nestling in a leafy suburb north of Motown, was designed by Donald Ross in 1923. It is a pleasing reminder of the days before American course design became besotted with requiring tourists to hit 200-yard carries over the infinite number of lakes of Florida and the Carolinas. Appreciating the value of rarity, Ross brought water into play on just one hole at Oakland Hills, the 16th.
It is not the longest par four hole on the course and it is not the hardest. At 471 yards, the 14th is the longest two-shotter on a course where all but two are over 400 yards. And the 18th is the hardest, averaging half a stroke above its par value.
But the so-called signature hole on the Monster is long enough at 403 yards and is potentially the most dangerous. It has a dog-leg to the right, sweeping round a pond that cuts into the front of the green. "If you make a bad swing, that is where there is the most potential to make a big score," Davis Love said.
Payne Stewart found this to be true while crashing out of the lead on Saturday afternoon. Having driven into the rough, Stewart shanked his next into the water. …