The most interesting player comment out of Oakmont came from 2006 final group contender Kenneth Ferrie, talking to Gary Van Sickle:
"This is the first time I've played a golf course where it didn't rain and the course has gotten softer every round.
"It's mind boggling, really. Thursday and Friday you're trying to bounce the ball up onto the greens. Today, I actually had a few shots hit the green and spin back."
The USGA's Mike Davis gets points for applying water to prevent an all out debacle. And as you may recall, the Masters this year saw borderline firm and fast all week, then applied water to the greens after the committee had gotten in their licks.
But that's the Masters and at least they recognized the need for the traditional Sunday fireworks.
The U.S. Open is a different beast. It should be the most difficult major of the year, but shouldn't that difficulty ideally progress from day one to the finish, with Sunday's "examination" being the culmination of a week's worth of golf?
Personally, I have long respected the USGA history of giggling at the PGA Tour's willingness to play lift, clean and place. You may remember that Tom Meeks noted they would not be playing "lift, clean and cheat" after Wednesday's deluge at the 1996 U.S. Open. ("Commissioner, I have Mr. Meeks on line 1 to apologize...)
The blue coats are big rub 'o the green guys and gals, touting their devotion to playing the ball down no matter what. And firm greens and landing areas have always been priority 1. Play it as it lies.
Yet they now set up courses with such confining width, extreme speeds and different rough heights for different holes that they are having to use water to dictate the way the ball reacts when it hits the ground.
So I'm interested in what everyone thinks of this notion of a tournament course getting softer each day without rain. Were the measures taken at Oakmont a positive direction for the game or will it open the door for all sorts of strange antics (particularly with the advent of Sub-Air systems where a committee could present radical extremes from day to day)?