Over the last few days, I have heard Tilghman, McCord, Kostis, Baker-Finch and Faldo all note that the kikuyu will "take over" this summer at Torrey Pines and create much heartier rough. Several have noted it will be an entirely different course.
Apparently the memo didn't reach our friends in the broadcast booths, but the Torrey Pines roughs were overseeded with rye this fall and rye grass will be the predominant grass at this year's U.S. Open, contrary to what they are proclaiming hourly on the broadcasts.
Yes, kikuyu is out there and it will be most noticeable in the fairways this June (which would also contradict a lot of the talk about how fast the fairways will be since kikuyu is spongy). However, the combination of rye grass being the one thing in the world that stifles kikuyu and the cool climate at Torrey Pines means it will be a blend of grass, with rye grass dominating the roughs. (A good thing by the way. Kikuyu is silly as a rough.)
Here's what Mike Davis had to say about it in a recent piece by Brian Hewitt:
Kikuyu grass is very ‘grabby.’ And as a result, said Davis who was at Riviera in 1998, “it made the players, at times, look almost stupid around the greens. That blade of grass at that time of year is just too strong.”
The greenside roughs at Torrey Pines are also primarily kikuyu. But Davis says the plan is to overseed and create a friendlier blend of ryegrass and kikuyu to give the players a fighting chance around the greens.
Greenside kikuyu at the Buick Invitational, played at Torrey Pines this week and at the Northern Trust Open, played at Riviera next month, isn’t healthy enough in winter to present the kinds of problems it does later in the year.