PGA TOUR rookies Cameron Young, Mito Pereira and Davis Riley will be among the notables reviewed in Draws and Fades.
If there were straight roads in Boston, the Country Club would be just three miles from Fenway Park. In fact, it could be a road well traveled for avid sports fans, with the Red Sox starting a nine-game series this week. Another two miles into town — again, only as the crow flies — the Celtics will host Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. So, since it’s getaway day for the Oakland Athletics, we could attend all three competitions only on Thursday, pending ticket availability, of course.
Boston sports fans are notoriously ardent in their support…and their criticism. They alone bring to life the good, the bad, and the ugly why we allow ourselves to fall in love with sports. The US Open doesn’t come to town often, so that’s the best thing to have for anyone planning on attending at least two of these activities. However, once someone enters the Country Club, there will likely be an urge to stay. The stock par 70 measuring 7,264 yards excites the senses visually, so you can only imagine how it engages with the sensibilities of the 156 on the field.
One of the first steps in Hanse and Wagner’s restoration was the removal of trees. As a result, stark vistas have replaced the more classic, tree-lined memories of the 1988 US Open and the 1999 Ryder Cup. The 2013 US Amateur is the most recent notable competition to be played here. Matt Fitzpatrick prevailed, Corey Conners was a semi-finalist, Scottie Scheffler was a quarter-finalist, and Xander Schauffele and Patrick Rodgers reached the knockout stages that week. All and many more who qualified for match play are back this week.
There’s almost always an inverse relationship between trees and escape opportunities, but the new leeway won’t encourage drivers to shoot more often. The triple combination of usually rough sightlines off the tees, seriously protected Poa bentgrass greens, and putting surfaces just under 4,440 square feet will force most to play aim golf. The greens range from 3,222 square feet at the famous par-4 17th hole to 6,556 square feet at the par-3 sixth hole.
Overall, conditions are typical of mid-June in these climates, meaning tomorrow won’t look much like today. After a pedestrian opening, the threat of inclement weather creeps in sometime on Friday, and possibly later in the day. It will be hot and heavy. Another chance for rain exists on Saturday when the day’s high may not touch 75 degrees. He will fall more and more for the final for what should be a fantastic finish. Wind could be a factor everywhere, especially with the pervasive energy.
The US Open is often defined as the tournament that identifies the best golfer, but the Country Club will likely feature one of the best golfers of recent times. Confidence off the tee sets the theme, while precision of approach pays the shot, but the usually fine line between par and bogey is much more pronounced at the US Open. Because of the challenge, not only will par be an acceptable score, but there will be good bogeys squared.
The champion will probably have concocted a recipe dominated by a part of course management and two parts of patience. Relying on others to make more mistakes is the secret sauce.
ROB BOLTON’S CALENDAR
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton recaps and previews each tournament from many angles. Look for his following contributions as expected.
MONDAY: Power ratings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, draws and fades
WEDNESDAY: Preview of Pick ‘Em
SUNDAY: Medical extensions, Qualifications, Reorganization, Ranking of recruits
* – Rob is a member of PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks panel for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, which also publishes on Tuesday.