From Thomas Bonk's L.A. Times golf column today:
This just in from the USGA: The rough at Oakmont Country Club is too high. Now that's an upset. In fact, the rough is actually getting mowed, as the U.S. Open arrives next week.
Mike Davis, the U.S. Golf Assn.'s senior director of rules and competitions and the man responsible for the setup at Oakmont, said the growing conditions have been so favorable that the rough simply was "too much" and too thick.
The first cut of rough was supposed to be four inches high and the other rough from six to 6 1/2 inches, but now it has been scaled back to four inches high and to 2 3/4 to five inches.
"The whole concept is we're not looking for pitch-out rough," Davis said. "We want guys in there to have a shot at the green, at least in the first cut. That doesn't necessarily mean everyone will do it, but we want to give them the opportunity."
Davis said the first cut covers about seven paces from the fairway.
Now, in Golf World's Local Knowledge this week, John Strege reports the same thing, but adds this caveat:
Even though the maintenance plan is unchanged from the past three years, the rough has come in much denser this spring. The same thing happened last year at Winged Foot. USGA officials chose their words carefully when discussing the developments but they're clearly concerned by the episodes.
Well, and we all know all about that middle of the night stuff too!