Notables scheduled to appear in Tuesday’s Fantasy Insider include Zurich Classic of New Orleans champions Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith, Eagle Point course record-holder Carl Pettersson, Patrick Reed and Emiliano Grillo.
Suffice it to say that Tom Fazio has done it again. Eagle Point is a modern classic despite opening for business in 2000. It blends timeless aesthetics with requisite length, sizable and strategic bunkering, and freeform and undulating bentgrass greens ready to run 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. Many are equipped with false fronts and runoff corners. Comparisons to Augusta National Golf Club aren’t coincidental except that Eagle Point sports rough that has been allowed to grow three inches.
The stock par 72 tips at 7,396 yards, including some 150 yards added for the tournament via back tees on the par-4 first, eighth and 13th holes alone. A new tee that would have extended the par-4 third another 60 yards won’t be used, thus limiting the hole to 386 yards.
Fazio guides golfers through mild elevation changes, a variety of water hazards and trees decades older than his creation. A standout is also a target off the tee at the par-4 11th where a 130-year-old American elm watches over the left turn on the only dogleg on the course.
The par-5 fourth hole can stretch to 640 yards, second-longest on the schedule behind the finisher at Kapalua (663 yards). The par-4 seventh is capped at 353 yards, so Fazio even delivers on the possibility of a drivable par-4. The Intracoastal Waterway serves both as the backdrop and hazard long at the par-3 10th.
The par-5 18th gives the fans and the field of 156 everything they want. At 580 yards and slightly downhill, the opportunity to reach the green in two will be real. Danger lurks on both sides off the tee, but the entirety of the approach (or layup) is guarded by water on the right.
The X-factor on four of the five holes coming home (Nos. 14, 15, 17 and 18) is a prevailing headwind from the southeast. The forecast calls for that direction for the opening round before a rotation into a westerly direction takes over. It figures to get gusty, too, with sustained breezes of 10-20 mph. A threat for rain and storms exists for the first two days, but the weekend lines up wonderfully. Daytime highs aren’t likely to escape the 70s throughout.
Assuming Eagle Point aces its performance, it stands to reason that we might see it again no later than 2021 when Quail Hollow hosts the Presidents Cup.
ROB BOLTON’S WRITING SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week.
MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, Comfort Zone, Fantasy Insider
WEDNESDAY: One & Done
THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO
* – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks, which also publishes on Tuesdays.