OAKMONT, Pa. — Through no fault of its own, the 2016 U.S. Open hasn’t turned out as the USGA had planned.
The course was playing firm and lightning fast until more than two inches of rain drenched the course on Thursday. Not only did it delay the tournament to such an extent that the USGA was forced to play catch-up for the next three days (thanks to good weather, they finally did on Sunday morning), it also served to soften and slow the course.
What was hyped as one of the most difficult U.S. Opens ever in the build up to the tournament quickly became a relative birdie-fest by U.S. Open standards. Shane Lowry leads at seven under and is one of six players under par for the tournament.
So now the USGA are getting nasty, which as I wrote earlier in the week, is wonderful news.
They’ve triple-cut the greens, which means they cut the grass three times in different directions to get each blade as low as possible, then they rolled them to make them even faster.
The greens still aren’t as fast as Oakmont would like them, according to former tour pro and Pittsburgh native Bob Friend, but they’re going to be a lot more difficult.