Phil: "This golf course is a physical hazard to the players. I don't think that that has been very well thought out."

2007usopen_50.gifAnother excellent edition of Golf Channel's Pre-Game U.S. Open coverage featured the usual gang (Kann, Pepper, Nobilo, Oosterhuis, Lerner) stepping up to the plate with fresh insights into the field and course, with colorful (literally) reports from Marty Hackel and a fun look inside the Pirates' ballpark.

But it was all highlighted by the Steve Sands interview with an obviously perturbed Phil Mickelson.

One comment from Phil was notable for its honesty and accuracy, the other just a sign of these wacky times. 

Sands: You nervous at all...about the wrist?

Mickelson: I'm uncertain whether or not it's going to hold up on some of the shots out of the rough. It's been hurt in this rough before. Yesterday, 5, 6 people got hurt that Jim Weathers had to go work on. I think this golf course is a physical hazard to the players. I don't think that that has been very well thought out. So I think every player should be concerned--not just me--when they hit a shot in the rough.

I know I've shared my bias on this as someone who had a wrist injury and as someone who finds it pitiful that rough is harvested like a crop so grown men can compensate for some mysteriously vacant portion of their golfing soul that believes this torture rewards skill, but isn't there something seriously wrong with the game when antics like rough-on-steroids could impact our national championship and potential damage the well-being of a player and his career?

Anyway, here's the part where the modern player mentality of having consistent greens throughout the course is a bit hard for me to relate to. Continuing on after his comments about the rough...

Mickelson: This has forced me to prepare on the greens. Pelz and I have been out here on the greens this weekend, I feel like I have a good concept of how the putts break but also the speeds. You know the speeds have fluctuated tremendously from green to green. And I know they're doing the best, but they do the same thing to each green. They cut it the same height, roll it the same for every green. Well that's just ridiculous because you have greens that are high that are more exposed and  get more wind and greens that are low that get a lot more moisture, so the fluctuation in the greens have been up to four and half feet from the fastest to the slowest. And so I think guys are going to struggle and I think that on the greens I may have an advantage knowing what the actual green speed is.

I guess this is where I would say to Phil that you knowing the varying speeds of each green is a cool thing and that attempts to make speeds uniform would be more contrived than what's out there now.