Ryder Cup: Five key holes that will separate Europe and the United States

The 43rd Ryder Cup begins at Whistling Straits on Friday. Here are the five key holes that could decide the contest.

Fans walk on the 17th hole during a practice day at the Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The 8th

On The Rocks

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507 yards, par 4: A blind drive with dunes, bunkers and Lake Michigan below on the right. The water then forms a backdrop to a deep green with dunes and bunkers left and right.

Deep bunkers are a at highlight of Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The 12th

Pop Up

143 yards, par 3: Perhaps the toughest green on the course. The hole plays downhill with a big fall away to the dunes and the lake short or right. Aim for the flag because there’s trouble everywhere.

The 15th

Ryder Cup at the Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Grand Strand

518 yards, par 4: A really demanding par four where the drive has to avoid sunken sand dunes to the right and the approach carries more dunes.

The 17th

Pinched Nerve

223 yards, par 3: A wonderfully-named closing par-three, the green is guarded left by sand dunes and bunkers that fall 20 feet below green level, with Lake Michigan beyond. One of the most treacherous par threes in the world of golf.In trouble if you miss this green left.

The 18th

Dyeabolical

515 yards, par 4: Named after designer Pete Dye. A tough drive, but the approach is truly intimidating across Seven Mile Creek, while the green allows for some nasty pin positions.