US Open players cautiously optimistic about Erin Hills

Laura Christensen
June 15, 2017

McIlroy's season has been thrown into disarray by the rib injury suffered during extensive club testing over the winter, which initially kept him sidelined for six weeks after losing a play-off in the South African Open.

The legendary Ben Hogan won the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills but called it a "monster" and the hardest course he ever played, not a single player breaking par in the opening three rounds.

The removal of swathes of the grass followed complaints by some players who had posted videos on social media to demonstrate that the grass was unplayable.

The players might like their steaks thick and juicy.

"I think what they've done with the golf course, the piece of property that they have had and how they've kind of fit everything naturally to the grounds itself, is quite attractive". Stricker estimated any ball in the fescue will result in a half-shot to a one-shot penalty.

Of course, that's not necessarily what the players and fans want.

RORY McILROY, 2011 U.S. Open champion: We have 60 yards from left line to right line. If I can get that in my hands more regularly, and I think if the field has to hit driver more, that plays into my hands, too. There will be some really tough spots to get up and down from, but you will be able to get up and down unlike many U.S. Opens of the past.

Spieth reached the quarterfinals that year, but doesn't remember a whole lot about his experience and basically is starting from scratch as he attempts to win a third major championship as a professional.

"A lot has been made about the rough, which is incredibly long, but there's a huge space in-between that long rough that we get to hit it", he said.

The 50-year-old Stricker, a 12-times victor on the PGA Tour who ranked as high as second in the world rankings, has pared down his tournament golf in recent seasons and played just eight events on the PGA Tour this season.

Torrential rains Monday night and Tuesday morning might have added pressure to cut the areas because when a fescue soaked and laying sideways it becomes even less playable.

A repeat of the Johnson incident is unlikely this year, and not just because the greens at Erin Hills are nowhere near as fast as Oakmont's putting surfaces. But more on that in a moment. And playing his way into the field makes it even sweeter. What makes it dramatic are the seven bunkers surrounding a skinny green with a false front.

"It's a very hard green with the prevailing wind because it's so flat on the green". "And then if the winds are reversed, you might have to do the opposite". The 25-year-old was mighty impressive as he finished in a tie for fourth at the Masters and, at 40-1, looks like an excellent value given how cool he has proved to be under pressure.

"I go into every tournament expecting to play well and this is really no different", he said. "I don't think we should". "I've just got to go out there and execute at this point".

They told Johnson when he was on the 12th tee, saying he might be penalized and they could review it after the round.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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