Fowler Considering US Open Lay-Up On Shortest Par 3 In Major History

Rickie Fowler says laying up is an option on the shortest par 3 in Major history if the 15th at the US Open uses the front pin just 78 yards away

Rickie Fowler at the 2023 US Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are lay-ups and then there are lay-ups, and Rickie Fowler even talking about doing that on the shortest par 3 in Major history is quite something.

The subject of laying up is a big story at the US Open this week at Los Angeles Country Club with the driveable par-four sixth hole in particular a topic for discussion.

And of the five par 3s on show this week, two of them could measure in at around 290 yards to become the second and third longest par 3s in US Open history.

You could forgive anyone thinking about laying up on of those two monster short holes, but Fowler was not discussing that pair of holes when he made his eye-opening comments.

Instead, Fowler was considering coming up short on the 15th hole at LACC if the front pin is used - which would make it the shortest par 3 in US Open history at just 78 yards.

The 15th hole has an extreme boomerang-shaped green than could make a front pin extremely difficult to get to, and with danger all around especially thick rough and bunkers lurking.

Fowler reportedly told NBC Sports' John Wood that even with such a short hole he could lay up to the front pin placement and hit it short right, leaving an easy chip up the hill and likely simple par putt.

Fowler explained the thinking behind the lay-up approach to Golf Channel further, saying the front right pin was "a funky yardage" that left two options.

"There's very little room there, there's two options, land it and spin it down but there's the potential for the little lay-up to the fairway which leaves a chip up the hill," Fowler told Golf Channel.

"Going at the pin is a very big risk."

The USGA will likely only use the short pin placement on one day, but it would be some sight to see professional golfers in the US Open - famed for it's brutal length and difficulty - scared off by a short par 3 with only a wedge in hand.

It's just another facet of a fascinating course in Los Angeles that should make for some must-watch viewing this week.

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Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.