US Open 2017: 10 things to watch for during Erin Hills

Although a horde USGA is perplexing to get divided from it, for years a U.S. Open has marketed itself as “the toughest exam in golf.” Whether we adore it or hatred it, it’s singular and has a possess clever to utterly clever identity. There will be frustration, yelling, anger, absurd drives, artistic shots, and a vital champion. Here are 10 things to watch and know for this week’s 117th book during Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

Mad About Grass

The always interesting wall-to-wall coverage of some march underline or discuss has centered around a high fescue grasses of Erin Hills this week. We always get something any U.S. Open, possibly it’s a discuss over “native sandy areas” during Pinehurst, wrecked greens during Chambers Bay, and now this in Wisconsin. It’s waggish to watch, if we customarily keep a small perspective.

Kevin Na, of all people, ignited this year’s discuss on Sunday, when he posted an Instagram video repetition (maybe half-jokingly) about how thick a fescue was customarily off a fairways here.

Erin Hills is a good pattern march though a fescue is roughly unplayable. BTW never found a ball. So don’t strike it in there lol. true hitters have a chance! #usopen #erinhills #mikedavis #lostball #usga

A post common by Kevin Na (@kevinna915) on Jun 11, 2017 during 10:24am PDT

There’s fescue during British Opens and other American venues, though what done this opposite was how unenlightened it was customarily off a fairway. It was fundamentally a jeopardy — you’d onslaught to find your turn and if we did, we competence not be means to strike it some-more than a integrate feet. The best box unfolding was a penetrate out into a fairway maybe 40 yards or so. There was also a legitimate problem of a fescue being a many unenlightened customarily off a fairway and thinner over off of it — rewarding those who indeed strike a worse shot that was some-more off line and into a thinner stuff.

So this weed became a speak of a championship and a USGA done it even some-more of a play on Tuesday when they customarily started stealing outrageous chunks of it while players were out practicing. It looked like a flattering poignant alteration customarily 36 hours before a championship started.

The USGA was austere that this was partial of a “prescribed plan” of upkeep and not some greeting to Na and other players observant it was too much. They cited complicated rains early in a week creation it “lay down” and turn even some-more dense.

So that led to a greeting to a reaction, with Rory McIlroy being a many vocal. Rory’s biggest emanate was that these are a widest fairways — 60 yards in many spots — in a story of a U.S. Open and if we can’t strike them, maybe we merit to remove your turn or go into that stuff. And if you’re violent about it, we should go home.

In a end, a USGA private chunks of a fescue and mowed it behind on 4 holes. But a pierce looked wild so tighten to a start of a vital and that sum with actor amicable media complaints to give us a large ol’ weed discuss that sucked adult all a oxygen of a use turn days.

So be on a surveillance for players perplexing to play out of that things and hollering about it when they do.

Air Phil 1

Unfortunately, it looks like Phil Mickelson is not going to make it to a U.S. Open. Phil pronounced he indispensable a four-hour check on Thursday in sequence to get from his daughter’s high propagandize graduation to Wisconsin before his tee time. Thursday looks like a customarily definitively transparent continue day, with a 0 percent possibility of sleet until late afternoon. So Phil will not even house his private jet to try and make a violent lurch to Erin Hills, that is a genuine contrition — tracking Air Phil 1 all Thursday was going to be so many fun.

Phil’s doubtful attainment means this will be a initial vital though Mickelson or Tiger Woods given a 1994 Masters. We’ve supposed this “young” stand of superstars — Rory, Spieth, DJ, Day, Rickie, Hideki — as a changing of a ensure awhile ago. But that’s a account you’re going to get this week with Tiger and Phil strictly off a premises.

Pace and Space

The fescue competence be a means of what will turn interminably prolonged rounds. When players strike into it, it’s going to take time to find a turn or they will empty a allotted time they’re authorised to demeanour before giving adult and carrying to play another one. And if they do find it, they’re not going to allege it distant and we’re going to be adding shots and adding time. This is also a march meant to be played in a wind, and if it’s adult and floating a proceed a USGA didn’t expect, afterwards that’s going to supplement a ton of time too.

But that’s customarily a partial of what will make these prolonged rounds. A U.S. Open is always delayed and counsel — it’s a “toughest test” for a reason and players always take an additional mental kick before personification a shot. This Erin Hills property, however, is going to make a earthy plea a direct too and substantially have everybody relocating a small slower.

Players on a belligerent are observant this competence be a longest and many perfectionist travel they’ve had during a U.S. Open. Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN called a place “too big” on Wednesday.

The biggest emanate is a travel from immature to tee, some of that are 200 yards. The march is intensely hilly and about an 8.5 to 9 mile travel — an normal pro turn is customarily in a 6 mile range. Justin Thomas totalled that he took roughly 20,000 stairs during one of his use rounds.

Now, we competence sneer during theses millionaires carrying to travel a bit some-more and that’s fine. But play a U.S. Open during a same time in Jun feverishness and a 9-mile travel becomes a small different. And it’s going to delayed things down — a USGA is dispersal 4 hours and 52 mins for threesomes a initial dual days. If that’s what they’re anticipating for, design rounds good in additional of 5 hours.


A smart collect to win this week is Jon Rahm. While he competence not be a many mainstream name, it’s not accurately a longshot. The 22-year-old is expected a subsequent luminary in golf and positively has a vital in his future, and genuine soon. This time final year, he was winning low pledge honors during Oakmont. Now as a pro, he’s already worked his proceed into a tip 10 in a universe rankings, that is an astoundingly quick rise.

Rahm has a full 14-club game, though he’s been strongest tee-to-green this year. He’s second on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, third in SG off-the-tee and second in SG total. Rahm is a world-class actor and a large celebrity too. One of those contribution you’ll hear any singular foster to fill adult a form will be that a Spaniard schooled English during Arizona State by listening to swat records.

So reconnoitre yourself with Jon Rahm. This venue sets adult good for him and he’s a talent that will soon, if not already, be fasten a cadre of DJ, Spieth, Rory, Day, and other some-more tangible luminary names.

“Kettle Moraine”

The U.S. Open always bashes us over a conduct with some new word or tenure of art that we hear all week during a wall-to-wall coverage. Expect to hear a lot over these subsequent 4 days about a Kettle Moraine, a geological name for this land shaped by a collision of dual glaciers. The “natural land movement” (another tenure you’re conference a lot) is fantastic and should yield a players with lots of tilted and disproportionate lies, a opposite kind of exam that maybe a complicated actor is not used to so much. The march architects frequency altered any mud and relied on this healthy topography. It’s visually overwhelming when a camera is means to constraint a rolling terrain, that also apparently occurs within bunkers too.

So if we wish to sound informed, or like an outrageous dork, chuck Kettle Moraine out there when examination with friends this week.

Is Rory ready?

This is Rory McIlroy’s best possibility for a U.S. Open win given his 2011 exile during Congressional. It’s all right there for him. It’s a prolonged course, though far-reaching adequate to let him use a biggest arms in his bag, a driver, as many as you’ll ever see during a U.S. Open. The rains that have battered Erin Hills during use days also play right into his hands. He certified as much, observant he unequivocally wasn’t great when he saw storms hurl in on Monday. He’s also been austere that he “loves” a course, that is customarily half a conflict during a U.S. Open, where players mostly psych themselves out of a contest before they ever strike a rival shot.

A long, soothing march is where McIlroy thrives, attack a high turn and creation it hang right on tip of a flag. Those were a accurate conditions that led to his widespread 2011 U.S. Open win, that set records.

So he loves a course, a conditions are perfect, and a setup gives his biggest “skill,” as he will remind we is a word to report his pushing power, a outrageous advantage. What could go wrong? We’ve not seen many of Rory this year, and when we have, he’s been aggravating a rib damage that’s worried him given January. He’s played customarily once given the Masters and in that event, The Players, he told us immediately he was carrying a behind problem. Some argued he should have cold though McIlroy played by all 4 rounds, got a scan, and afterwards skipped any contest between afterwards and this week.

His former Ryder Cup captain and Irish friend, Paul McGinley, says he’s too rusty and not healthy adequate to win this week. Rory insists there are no stipulations on his swing. Given how a setup plays into his strengths, and a fact that we’re already though Phil and Tiger, here’s anticipating Rory is full-go over 4 days during Erin Hills.

Rules drama

I wish some-more manners drama. we need some-more manners drama.

The articulate indicate entrance into a championship was that a USGA needs a “clean week” after a disaster of a before dual years. Chambers Bay had “broccoli” greens that they done roughly unplayable and Oakmont’s final turn became a playground when we didn’t know what Dustin Johnson’s tangible measure was and if he’d been assessed a penalty.

The USGA is a screw of a rulebook in golf, and nonetheless final summer they tripped over themselves mixed times in reckoning out how to consider penalties in high form moments. This year, they announced a change in how they set adult their manners folks, with any organisation no longer removing a walking manners central for all 18 holes. Instead, an central is reserved a still mark on a march and obliged for a integrate holes that he or she can hopefully master.

But that doesn’t meant there won’t be controversies or contentiousness. It’s never fun for a USGA or a players, though for everybody examination from afar, it’s always entertaining. Remember Twitter final year when DJ played a behind 9 not meaningful his tangible score? We need some manners drama.

A DJ Defense

Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange are a customarily players in story to go back-to-back during a U.S. Open. For many of a same reasons remarkable above with Rory, this march is a ideal setup for Dustin Johnson to join that disdainful club. And it’s not like he’s receded given he won during Oakmont a year ago — he’s customarily gotten better. This will be his initial vital as universe No. 1 after an hapless decrease during a Masters took him out of a contest where he was a complicated favorite and gunning for his third true win.

Going back-to-back is unequivocally hard, though DJ’s a favorite this week again for a reason and it would not be a warn during all to see him holding a prize again on Sunday.

The Players v. The USGA

No championship is some-more moving than a U.S. Open. The players simply don’t like a horde classification and are now going on a record about it often. Just on Wednesday, Brendan Steele threw out this pointed poke to Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner.

Not so during a U.S. Open, that is always abundant with discuss and vitriol.

“And customarily for good reason,” Brendan Steele said. “The USGA creates a lot of mistakes.”

During final year’s manners mess, Rory called a USGA “amateur hour,” Jordan Spieth pronounced it was a joke, Rickie Fowler tagged them regulating difference like “ridiculous” and “laughable.” That remarkable screw-up customarily seemed to move out what had been a still and working actor antipathy for a USGA.

It’s a brew of factors — a tricks they’ve played with march setup, manners issues, maybe money, as Geoff Shackelford remarkable on his podcast this week that players are violent not adequate of a billion dollar understanding between FOX and a USGA is entrance their way.

At a start of a month, Adam Scott was happy to take a shot and we weren’t even during Erin Hills yet. “If their vital apex eventuality for them requires courses to be a proceed they are afterwards it doesn’t set a good instance for any other bit of golf that they try to promote.”

This is a many some-more open squabble now and one a USGA reportedly is perplexing to relieve with improved communication. But it’s luscious fun for us and positively something to watch for all week during Erin Hills. The USGA will take some physique blows.

Tracer Time

The U.S. Open has turn the Super Bowl of ProTracer, that shot tracking record that everybody loves and has altered golf coverage. FOX’s Shane Bacon likened it to a first-down line in football. But a cost and inlet of a golf foster widespread out over 18 holes has done it tough to have entire tracer, that is what a people mostly wish and demand.

FOX will have possibly ProTracer or their possess tracking record (the corresponding shade with a live-arc of a shot from an overheard map of a hole) on all 18 holes. They also get tracer out there in a fairway for proceed shots too.

FOX is not out on a PGA Tour any week like — this is their one large golf eventuality and they flow all they have into it.

The coverage was a disaster in their initial year during Chambers Bay, though a problems seemed correctable and and large raise of smaller issues (except for one large Shark). Oakmont was a large alleviation and this year should be even crisper. we can’t wait to watch hours and hours of it over a subsequent 4 days.

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