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Kuchar Scouting Report: Right On Cue, Olympic Firming Up

Steve Elling talks to the Players Champion and contender for this year's U.S. Open and Matt Kuchar sounds almost shocked at how firm Olympic was, even though he played there in '98.

“The greens on Wednesday were so firm, I saw some of the USGA guys out there on the course and I was telling them how amazed I was at how firm and fast it was,” Kuchar said by phone from California. “The greens were just, incredibly firm.

"Thursday, it seemed like they realized they were too firm, too early, and dumped some extra water to soften them up a little bit.”

Kuchar goes on to admit he was birdieless in his round.

But having been to the last two Opens at Olympic, I can confidently say it's arguably the firmest and fast U.S. Open venue due to the course being on an old sand dune.

It's also a reason I don't think there will be many drivers used there this year, something I wrote about for Golf World's preview issue.

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Reader Comments (9)

I'm not a fan of a major championship course that doesn't test the ability to hit the driver. But I'm also not a fan of a lot of the current set-ups that don't seem to make hitting the driver a risk (see bomb/gouge). Mishitting a driver should incur more of a penalty than putting a 3-wood in the fairway. Additionally, part of the championship test should be having to hit mid and longer irons, not just constantly hitting 8-9 irons and wedges.
06.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
While the course is built on sand, the greens were recently rebuilt to USGA specifications. Also, the fairways were historically quite soggy due to morning fog, afternoon shade (the course sits on an east-facing slope) and dense tree cover. Tree-trimming and sand capping in the last decade have made the fairways much firmer.
06.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Good points, all.

8,9&W=Senior Golf ''Exhibition''.
06.9.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
5th Street--Don't know what "yer" meaning is, but if it's black face farce, it shouldn't be done and, regardless, it says nothing worth saying. It's offensive to me, without apology.
06.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPasaplayer
Firm and fast + fairways sloping sideways = Highest number of lucky bounces wins. There's a reason the wrong guy always wins at Olympic.
06.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
I wonder what Casper thinks when he gets thrown in with Janzen, Simpson, and Fleck as "upset" winners at Olympic?
06.10.2012 | Unregistered Commenterd.b.cooper
I have never understood why the USGA feels that putting out conditions that players never encounter results in determining the ''best'' player.
06.10.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
@d.b: Of course Casper, with 51 wins, is head and shoulders above the rest in that group. But since it was Arnold Palmer who lost a 7-stroke lead with 9 to go, everybody except Hogan and Nicklaus would have been "the wrong guy".
06.10.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
KH: Building USGA spec greens in sand? Can you explain? Is this architect Bill Love as dumb as they say.

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