NORTON -- After the 530-yard par 5 18th at TPC Boston yielded 150 eagles and 1,667 birdies in the first nine years of the Deutsche Bank Championship, tournament organizers decided to try and make the finishing hole a little more interesting -- if not challenging -- in the 10th anniversary of the PGA event.
The green was elevated and reduced by one-third of its original size and a small greenside bunker was added, just for good measure.
It's resulted in a little change in scores, however, as the 18th continued to play as TPC Boston's easiest hole, yieldding six eagles, 31 birdies and 44 pars in Saturday's second round.
Through 36 holes, the 18th has yielded 10 eagles, 74 birdies and 87 pars for a stroke average of 4.656, making it the second easiest hole of the tournament behind No. 4, which has yielded 4 eagles, 81 birdies and 89 pars.
Rory McIlroy eagled No. 18 when he smashed a 4-iron 215 yards to within 11 feet to help him go from 9-under to 11-under. McIroy birded No. 1 to go to 12-under before rebounding from a pair of bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3 with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 to finish at 12-under, which was good for a one-shot lead over Louis Oosthuizen after 36 holes.
"With that new front left side of the green, it allows you to feed the ball in a little bit,'' McIlroy said. "It's actually a more appealing second shot, I think, which is nice, especially to that front pin.''
Others who made eagle at 18 included Ryan Moore, D.A. Points, Dustin Johnson, Sean O'Hair, and Mark Wilson.
But O'Hair's proved to be the most clutch, because it enabled him to make the cut at 2-over 144 (70-74).
Ranked 74th in the points, and needing to finish in the top 70 to advance to the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., O'Hair hit a 207-yard approach within 3 feet 4 inches of the pin for eagle to complete his second round with an inward 34 for a 3-over 74.
"When the golf course gets like this, it's gettable,'' said Tiger Woods, "because all three par-5s are reachable, the greens are receptive enough that you can attack.''
And none has been more susceptible to attack than the 18th at TPC Boston.