Jason Day

Fearsome 6th hole the ultimate test at Birkdale

The sixth hole at Royal Birkdale lived up to its fearsome reputation Thursday.

David Duval can vouch for that.

The 2001 British Open champion ran up a quadruple-bogey 8 and was one of eight players to make double or worse at the 499-yard hole that ranked No. 1 in the first round, with an average score of 4.5. It was the toughest hole the last two Opens held at Birkdale, in 1998 and 2008.

The signature hole on the front side is a left-to-right dog-leg that requires a precise drive and a long second shot to an elevated and well-contoured green protected by three bunkers at the front — two on the right and one on the left — and surrounded by dunes.