US Open preview

With Tiger out of the tournament, we have to talk about something else. 😀

I hope this is a true US Open setup without him. I believe a little of the conspiracy that the rough is made semi-playable in the Tiger era so he can hit driver all over the place and still win. It was especially true at Torrey Pines.

I enjoy golf where hitting the ball in the fairway is rewarded. It might seem like an oxymoron, but I almost always played better in relation to the field when the course was tighter and played harder. When I played well I hit a lot of fairways, but when I missed the fairway, it was by a lot…so I like a course with trees, small fairways and lots of rough. That way the 2-3 loose drives I would hit per day would be in bounds and the rest of the field was penalized for a 10 yard miss.

I think Congressional is a fabulous course. I have never played it, but I have seen it many times and it look exactly like what I enjoy playing. In 1997, I had a good chance to make it to that Open, and am not afraid to say it was one of the few actual choke jobs I performed…the 1991 World Long Drive Championship being the worst.

For those that care. I was the last hitter, hit my first drive way in the heel and had second, less than 10 yards behind the leader. All I had to do was hit one of my last three solid in the fairway and I would have won. This was back in the day when you had 4 balls, the fairway was only 40 yards wide and actually, a bit of a dogleg to the right…nice job organizers…LOL.

Missed Fairway
Missed Fairway
Toe job a yard past the first one

…but as usual, I digress. I think this Open will be very entertaining. I have no feel for who will do well, but after each day, I will have some thoughts.

Most days I put my posts on a time stamp to post at 4 AM Pacific.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday they will post later in the morning so I have something to comment on…ie the play early in the day…and if I am watching, there may be more than one post of observations if something of note happens.




  1. rojoass

    I’m looking forward to this one. A friend of mine is on the staff handling some of the set-up crew.

    As for the winner or someone in contention……….I hate predictions cause it’s like the rear end………..we all have one. But I will beat this pony some more…………Look out for the prevailing short game.

  2. Calvin D

    I’ll root for an old guy. Toms.

    • meateater

      The setup may not be ideal. The area had a brutal heatwave the last two weeks and no rain, causing the rough to basically go dormant. The superintendent and the USGA people are not thrilled but there is not much they can do about it. Congressional put in new greens for this event 21 months ago, but they too have been affected by the heat. They wanted to have them rolling at 14 or 14.5, a truly scary thought given the contours on some of them, but they feel they would risk losing them entirely at that level because of the combination of heat, new greens and no rain, so they have them in the low 12’s. Apparently, a few of the greens already have brown spots.

      The course has had some changes since the last event, mostly minor. A few fairway bunkers were relocated further downrange, and the tee for 15 was pulled way back to make that a really stout hole. The 18th fairway has been pulled in a bit on the left, where a lot of balls from bit hitters end up. Going for that peninsula green on sunday with a downhill lie in the rough should test anyone.

  3. Brett

    Monte, are there any guys in there from the qualifier you went to?

  4. mship99

    Was at Congressional on Monday and the course is in my opinion challenging. The greens were browning up a bit which means they should be quick, most fairways are only about 25 yds wide, and they have 240yd par 3 🙂 If the rains stay away scores should be higher than normal. I do have to say though that the way they cut and roll the fairways is ridiculous…no wonder these guys hit it 350 with all they roll they should get.

    • meateater

      I was out to the Open today. There was some rain this morning which seemed to take the edge off the greens. I was pretty shocked at how far back they have pulled a few of the tee boxes. In fact, they had to cut down a few trees, which was unfortunate and probably upset some members. Phil was literally all over the lot. I saw him hit a tee shot on 14 which landed in waist high rough and nearly OB. Easily the worst shot I saw hit all day.


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