The Bomb Squad

British Open 2022: DP World Tour bomber nearly aces the Old Course’s par-4 18th hole during practice round

OK, so we’re just going to say it and you’re probably going to get mad but we’re going to say it anyway: The 18th hole at The Old Course, at least by major championship standards, is a bit of a cupcake. It’s a short par-4 that’s wider than a freeway. There’s no blind approaches, like so many links golf holes, and you could land the LIV Golf jet on the putting surface. This week, you’ll see golfers reaching for their putter as often as their pitching wedge on approach, but DP World Tour bomber Richard Mansell almost didn’t need either on Tuesday, hitting his tee shot on the Old Course’s climatic hole to mere inches.

Mansell—who ranks 20th on the DP World Tour in driving distance, averaging a little over 312-yards a bomb—received an ovation from the practice-round gallery gathered in the grandstands after his shot. Before taking a victory stroll to his ball for a tap-in eagle, however, he instead threw one down in the fairway and squeezed in an extra rep with the ol’ Texas wedge. These guys are good grinders.

This year, the Old Course's 18th hole will be play at tame 357 yards, give or take the wind. In today’s day and age, that’s more than drivable for a good chunk of the field and could lead to a few fascinating go-for-it-or-lay-up decisions down the stretch on Sunday. Beware, however. For those who go for glory and come up short, the Valley of Sin awaits.