Mahan talks Blue Monster’s redesign

Greens were tucked closer to water, bunkers squeezed the fairways and angles were introduced where they hadn’t been. Those were the changes to the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral that ignited debate, but the subtle one, the trees down the right of the 18th? Count Hunter Mahan among those who took note.

“In the past, maybe you got lucky, maybe you’d get a lie and shoot it up into those (greenside) bunkers, maybe give yourself a pitch or something,” Mahan said. “Definitely can’t do that (now).”

He demonstrated that in his third round. Needing a par to shoot 70 and get in at 3 under, one off the lead, Mahan pushed his drive right.

“As soon as you hit it right there, it’s an automatic pitch-out,” said Mahan, who did and wound up making bogey.

The numbers might suggest that the 18th, which played to a field average of 4.343, was slightly easier than in 2013 (4.381) and 2012 (4.539), but take note that it played with a favorable wind all four days.

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