The wind was a factor that all the players counted on ahead of the PGA Championship that is being played these days in Southern Hills. Not surprisingly, Oklahoma (USA), the state in which the field is located, suffers an average of 54 tornadoes a year.
It was clear that the heat was going to be suffocating at times (the average maximum in the summer months does not drop below 31 degrees). But what the 156 men with the right to dispute the second major of the year did not expect were some bunkers that have been revealed as a deadly trap.
Pga Championship, situation
In a course in which the rough does not penalize too much and the water is not a leading actor, the villain of the casting of obstacles has turned out to be the 'quicksand' that split the fairways and defend the greens.
"It's definitely the most challenging sand I've ever faced," said Justin Thomas at the end of the first round in statements collected by Golf.com. The American signed 67 entrance shots, to get among the best with -3.
Even so, the difficulties he experienced in the bunkers left him with a bitter aftertaste: "They are not very consistent. I told Bones (Mackay, his caddy) that they were wild." The issue is that the grains of sand, although not visible, are thicker than normal on the circuit courses, something that has golfers confused.
The result is a priori not too complicated hits that go over the flag or stay inside the bunker. "It's a bit of a guessing game," said Talor Gooch. Even an Oklahoma native like him can't figure them out. Although he must have known or at least sensed something, given that he spent a lot of time in the previous days practicing shots from the bunker and in the opening round he holed out from one of those located on the 16th hole.
Things get even more complicated for those who have to play in the afternoon shift, as the sand raised during the morning spreads over the greens and fairways and acts as another danger. "Sometimes they get between the clubface and the ball and you lose the line," explained England's Ian Poulter. In Southern Hills a lime is better than a sand one.