The course set up at The Olympic Club has met with universal praise this week. But will they USGA continue to get it spot on today for the third round of the US Open?
“I think the golf course is a great set up,” Padraig Harrington said. T”he greens are fantastic. Firm greens scare the life out of a professional. It is amazing. They talk about length but it is not playing long and if you hit the fairways you are hitting it out there 330 yards at times. It is all about firm greens and you just can’t short side yourself.
“Obviously the US Open has changed since Mike Davis came in. It is completely different. All the players love it now. You are not standing on a tee box thinking, if I miss the fairway, it’s an automatic bogey. When you do miss the fairway it is giving you a bigger challenge. It is tough from the rough but in no way unfair.”
Saturday’s pin positions feature some beauties. At the par-three eighth, it’s just eight yards on, four yards form the left and just above a false front that could see balls slither off the front of the gren and down the fairway, 40 or 50 yards from the green.
The USGA has mown and rolled the greens, which are running fast and baked hard. How much water has been put on the golf course overnight remains to be seen.
Graeme McDowell didn’t particularly enjoy his secodn round 72.
“It’s just tough to have fun out there, I’ve got to be honest with you,” McDowell said. “It’s just a brutal test of golf. Noticeably more receptive this morning, the greens were, relatively speaking, to yesterday afternoon.
“But as we finished today they were really starting to bake out, get firm again; and I played the golf coursew hat I figured is the more difficult way around today starting on nine and finishing off on those front eight there which are a pretty stout test of golf.”
Asked after his second round 72 if there a message he would like to send to Mike Davis about the course set up for the weekend, McDowell said: “No, I have respect for Mike Davis. I’ve been playing most of my US Opens in the Mike Davis era and between himself and Peter Dawson I think the game of golf’s in fantastic hands. I think they both do great jobs. Mike sets a great golf course up.
“Of course I’m a little biased. I think he does a really really good job. So, no, the golf course is firm, but fair. It is what it is. You wouldn’t call it, I mean there’s a couple of pins out there that you would look at them.
“The pin on 1 today and you would go, is it necessary to put this on the side of a slope? But taking that out of the equation, it’s fairly well set up. It’s fair. They’re bumping some tees up and giving you half a chance into these par-three’s. It’s a lot of golf course. But like say, not a lot of fun, not a lot of fun.”