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Els: "You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry."

Frank but accurate assessment from Ernie Els today as Merion is getting hit with more rains.

And its only Monday.

Q.  Can you just talk about how the course played yesterday?  You had a good bit of rain on Friday and Saturday.  And what do you expect if it does remain soft?  Is the scoring going to be easier?  How will it play differently than the way they'd like it?

    ERNIE ELS:  Yesterday it was beautiful.  It was just starting to dry out.  The greens were getting a little bit firmer.  The surfaces are just unbelievable.  The fairways were still quite wet.  I guess they couldn't get the rollers on the fairways.  But the fairways are also getting a little bit firmer.  But they're still soft.  After the rain this morning, it's going to be very sloppy now.  You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry.  I don't care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways, it's not going to dry up.

    We're going to have a soft golf course this week all week.  It means that if you're on your game you're going to have a lot of birdie putts.  There's quite a few par‑4s where you've just got to put it in the fairway.  You can put it in the fairway with an iron, from a 5‑iron for a 3‑iron, just putting it into play, and then you've got quite a short second shot.

    I can see pin placements are going to be quite tough to protect the course.  You're going to see a lot more birdies than ever at U.S. Open venues.  But the finish is still very strong.  The par‑3s are very, very strong.  And there's some par‑4s; 5 and 6, obviously 18 and 14 is a very strong hole.  So there's some really strong par‑4s, but then you've got some birdie chances.  I should say the par‑3s are going to be tough.

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Reader Comments (27)

Rory McIlroy is salivating.

Dart's anyone?
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterClive Holden
How long does it take to grow six more yards of rough on each side of the fairway?
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
Short course, soft greens, super balls that fly forever. This should go down in History as the Frank Thomas Open.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterClowns Mouth
Thank God they have been playing off mats there for months.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRTJ
"2013 Pennsylvania Moisture Open" DTF? Just trying to get the good names started ...

06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
Look out for the...


Too late to grow the rough back into the Coores/Crenshaw updates to #2?
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStreaky Putter
I live 30 minutes away and it is pouring down rain right now. It's also been very humid since Andrea moved through so much so that I had to keep my A/C on just to keep the humidity out of the house. Yesterday was perfect and my yard was still like a sponge. After today and tomorrows rains, the pros are going to destroy this golf course unless the pin placements are just completely insane. I'll be interested to see it when I head up there on Thursday.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE

Bring your galoshes -- 70 percent chance of rain on Thursday, too!
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
The video posted at makes it look pretty soggy out there.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
RES - I'm trying to stay positive about Thursday. You never know in Philly. I'm pretty sure the meteorologists are just guessing around here anyway!
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
oh great the whole debate about the ball go to far and short course is rendered mute. too bad.
Merion -- quagmire
Target Bethesda Beltway Open -- quagmire
Bethpage -- quagmire (twice)

I think it's about time the USGA started looking to other parts of the country on a regular basis...

(was just thinking abt that Pepperdine;)
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
yea DTF you are right..on a brighter note I bought one of those USGA umbrellas at Bethpage in 2002 and the silly thing still works. Well worth the 2000$ i spent! oops I meant 80.
From my research, it appears 2002 @ Bethpage was TWs swing at its finest. Full flight. Makes up for the soggy.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
Bethpage just had some horrible luck... If I remember correctly 2002 and 2009 were two of the three rainiest June's ever since they started keeping records -- like 100 years. What are the odds?

On that subject, the Bethpage courses were shut down completely on Saturday and they shut them down again this afternoon. The new super seems to shut them down quicker than Craig did but generally speaking those courses stay open through a lot of really lousy weather -- so this is some serious stuff. Feel bad for the maintenance crew at Merion, they had that course primed.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
" I don't care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways"

Yes let's have helicopters hovering. It would look cool if nothing else. Maybe get some harrier jets.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMattS
Been a tough 2013 for the USGA to say the least.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterZelig
Take a look at the "Weather in Motion" right now. That stuff that is interfering with my late afternoon activities in Middle Georgia will visit Ardmore over the next 36-48 hours. This should be interesting.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Now we know how God feels about anchored putting.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
The Monsoon Mess at Merion
06.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterduck!hooker
@duckhooker -

Now we're cookin'!

"Monsoon @ Merion" - coined here first. :)

"Merion Maelstrom" doesn't have the same ring ...

06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPepperdine
there is no joy in Mudville, mighty USGA has struck out
06.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterweakgrip
For us locals dealing with weather AND traffic, I submit "The S**tshow in Delco".

If it keeps raining, I for one am looking forward to framing my signed copy of "The Four Wood", the iconic shot of Jim Furyk hitting into 18 green as taken from behind by some guy with a smuggled cellphone camera.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
The USGA didn't strike out. They are to be commended to taking the big tournament to the Fenway Park of golf.

I'm looking forward to watching this tournament more than any since the last times at Oakmont and Shinnecock.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterfyg
I feel so bad for the worlds greatest architect, Mike Davis. Perhaps he can come up with some quick hole re-designs on the fly.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
No "worlds greatest architect", no Merion U.S. Open.

Thank goodness for ego.
06.10.2013 | Unregistered Commentergary s.
The helicopter comment made me think of THOSE DARN BLIMPS MAKING NOISE OVER THE GOLF COURSE- so bad at the Women's tournament that I just deleted it without knowing the outcome. Who cares about seeing the golf course from a blimp during play-- they can take shots before competition, and then spare the players, the spectators, and yes, even the TV viewers the racket from these slow moving advertisements, as that is all they are.
06.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth

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