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The most drastic change at the course that has charmed, befuddled and immortalized everyone from Jack Nicklaus to Jack Lemmon were the two trees planted in the middle-right of the fairway on the par-5 18th hole. They give players the possibility of being completely blocked if they try to play too far away from the left-hand side of the fairway. Hitting toward the left, of course, is the best way to reach the green in two. But play it too far left and you could wind up like Stenson -- down among the fish.
It sets up the possibility of a big choice if someone comes to 18 on Sunday needing a birdie, something that has never happened at the U.S. Opens at Pebble.
Which isn't to say Clint Eastwood's course hasn't produced its moments.
In 1972, Nicklaus hit a 1-iron on the par-3 17th, hitting the pin on the way to a birdie that gave him the second leg of the Grand Slam.
Ten years later, Tom Watson chipped in from the rough on No. 17 -- one of the most iconic shots in golf -- to pull away from Nicklaus for his sixth of eight majors. (The spot from where Watson hit the ball no longer exists, washed away by a storm that hit shortly after that year's Open.)
In 1992, Tom Kite used his then-unique lob wedge to chip in on Pebble's most famous hole -- the much-posterized, 100-yard par-3 seventh.
Woods? Maybe the most memorable shot was one of the very few he missed in 2000, a snap hook into the ocean on No. 18, when he had come out early Saturday morning to finish his second round. A string of expletives followed, and then a weekend in which he redefined what golfing excellence means.
"I wouldn't be surprised to see him play well, and I wouldn't be surprised if he won," said Rory McIlroy, who got his first PGA Tour win last month by firing a 62 in the final round at Quail Hollow.
Whether it's Woods, Phil Mickelson or someone winning their first major, the way Lucas Glover did last year, Pebble Beach always paints a pretty picture.
"I've got to say, it's one of the most scenic places in the world to play golf," Stenson said. "Just some fabulous holes. Great views. You can see all the wildlife in the sea."
And sometimes a few golf balls, too.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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