Main   Challenge 8X33 by Richard Pavlicek  

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Par for the Course

Besides playing golf, what do Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson have in common? Answer: They would all flunk this quiz! But then; you wouldn’t do so well in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

Here’s your chance to make a run at the U.S. Open! You will play six holes (four Par 4‘s, one Par 5, one Par 3) in the exact order of Holes 1-6 at the daunting Pinehurst No. 2 course. Level par is great, so don’t expect any birdies.

As declarer, your goal is to find the best play to make each contract. Simply choose from Options A-F, each of which will be rated on a 1-to-10 scale per my judgment. Try to stay clear of the bunkers!

Bidding is Standard American and your opponents use standard leads and signals. For a reference see Standard American Bridge. Assume all players are experts.

In June 2005 these six problems were presented as a contest with 966 entrants from 115 locations around the world. The contest is closed, but you can still quiz yourself and find your score immediately. If you’re lucky, you might even win a valuable prize.*

*Prizes include three sets of uranium-shafted clubs, and six dozen plutonium-core balls. Winners must be at least 18 years of age
and have won at least one major, and I don’t mean hearts or spades. Employees of PavCo Shafts ‘R’ Us are ineligible.

Your name is announced, so head over to the first tee! A solid drive in the fairway should leave just a short iron to the green. Fore!

Hole 1 Par 4

IMPs
None Vul
S Q 9 3 2
H Q
D A Q J 10 5 2
C A 5
West

2 H
All Pass
North
1 D
3 S
East
Pass
4 H
South
1 S
4 S
Lead: H KTableEast plays H 7



4 S South
S K J 10 8
H 10 4 2
D K 7
C J 9 3 2

West continues with the H A. Your play?

A. Ruff; win S J; lead S 10
B. Ruff; win S J; ruff heart
C. Ruff; win S J; run diamonds
D. Ruff; win D K; ruff heart
E. Ruff; run diamonds
F. Pitch a club

Hole 2 Par 4

IMPs
N-S Vul
S 7 6 4 3
H J 10
D 5 4 2
C A K 4 2
West

2 S
Pass
North

3 H
Pass
East
1 NT
3 S
Dbl
South
2 H
4 H
All Pass
Lead: S QTableEast wins S K



4 H× South
S 8
H K Q 7 6 4 2
D A Q
C 9 6 5 3

East continues with the S A. Your play?

A. Ruff; win H J; lead H 10
B. Ruff; win H J; finesse D Q
C. Ruff; win H J; C A-K
D. Ruff; win C A-K
E. Ruff; duck a club
F. Pitch a club

Hole 3 Par 4

IMPs
E-W Vul
S Q 2
H A 2
D K 8 6 4 2
C Q 7 6 3
West

Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

2 D
3 S
East

Pass
Pass
South
1 S
2 S
4 S
Lead: H 9Table



4 S South
S K J 9 8 7 6
H K 10 3
D A 7
C 4 2

East plays H J if H 2 is played (or H 7 on ace). Your play?

A. Win H A; H K; ruff heart
B. Win H A; D A; D K; ruff diamond
C. Win H K; lead S J
D. Win H K; lead S 6
E. Win H K; D A; D K; ruff diamond
F. Win H K; lead a club

Hole 4 Par 5

IMPs
Both Vul
S 10 3
H A Q J 7 5
D Q J 2
C A K Q
West
Pass
2 S
Pass
North
1 H
Dbl
5 C
East
1 S
Pass
All Pass
South
Pass
4 C
Lead: C 2TableEast pitches S 7



5 C South
S 9 5 2
H 2
D A 10 5
C J 10 7 6 4 3

After winning the C A, what next?

A. Lead the S 10
B. Lead the S 3
C. Win H A; run H Q
D. Run the D Q
E. Finesse D 10; lead a spade
F. Finesse D 10; finesse H Q

Hole 5 Par 4

IMPs
N-S Vul
S A Q 4
H A K 3
D 8 6 5 4
C 9 3 2
West

2 S
Pass
North
1 D
Pass
4 H
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 H
3 C
Lead: H 6Table



4 H South
S 7 5
H Q J 10 9 2
D A Q
C 8 6 5 4

West finds another great trump lead! Your play?

A. Win H A; finesse D Q; finesse S Q
B. Win H A; finesse D Q; lead a club
C. Win H A; lead a club
D. Win H Q; finesse S Q; finesse D Q
E. Win H Q; finesse S Q; lead a club
F. Win H Q; lead a club

Hole 6 Par 3

IMPs
E-W Vul
S K 6 2
H Q J 3 2
D Q 7 4
C A J 9
West

Pass
Pass
North

1 H
3 NT
East
Pass
Pass
All Pass
South
1 C
1 NT
Lead: S JTableEast plays S 8



3 NT South
S A 9 4
H A K 4
D 8 5 3
C Q 8 3 2

Finally, a notrump bid! Your play?

A. Win S K; H K; run C Q
B. Win S K; H K; finesse C J
C. Win S K; run hearts
D. Win S A; run C Q
E. Win S A; finesse C J
F. Win S A; finesse C 9

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Acknowledgments to the USGA — Golfer pictured is Tiger Woods
© 2005 Richard Pavlicek