Player Reports Are In! Oakmont is Officially Brutal
Post by Golf Writer Kieran Clark
Oakmont Country Club - site of this week's U.S. Open - is widely regarded as being among the most difficult courses in the world. Although generally presented in a challenging fashion, much of that reputation is a result to the setup of the USGA's championship setup, which is unrelenting in its brutality. With fast, undulating greens and narrow fairways framed with inches of thick rough, scoring and frustrations will be high as the field of 156 seek to claim the second major of the year.
Last week, six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson had reported that the famed layout is the "hardest course we've ever played." Former champion, Rory McIlroy referred to Oakmont as being "unbelievably hard" after simply watching flyover videos on the internet. Expectations were set before the week even began, and on the evidence of player reports, they have been met.
Graeme McDowell, the winner at Pebble Beach in 2010, was among the first players to post up video on social media, illustrating the sheer difficulty and severity of the challenge. He even enlisted Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson, a fine player in his own regard, to demonstrate just how mere mortals would fare under those stringent conditions.
Former BMW PGA Championship winner Ben An, showcased the speed of the greens when playing out from a bunker. Considering this video was taken at the start of the week, we can only hope that such an event will not occur during the four competitive days, as that would be farcical. The 24-year-old's bewilderment is obvious.
Highly rated American youngster Justin Thomas was among those who tested the depth of the rough - which has coincindiently been cut in places by two inches as the week has progressed. The 23-year-old will be hoping that has happened at this particular spot, which devoured his golf ball.
The players may be able to see the funny side during the practice days, but once the 116th U.S. Open starts on Thursday, any indications of laughter will be replaced by glares of frustration and anger. Is this really what golf should be about?
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