The golf course remains moist and the humidity isn't helping dry it out at all, but the greens do seem to have just a bit more firmness today. Unfortunately, not enough to make a huge difference. The USGA's Mike Davis anticipates that it's just enough firmness to actually make well-struck shots into greens spin back even more than the last few days.
A few other observations:
- The par-4 14th will play as it has all week. There had been thoughts of radically altering the tee location to bring a set of pinching mounds into play and ask an interesting question of the players, but Davis, O'Toole and USGA President Jim Hyler discussed it and decided the softness of the course and greens just would not entice players to take the risk and that the move up could backfire.
- No changes have been made to the setup in response to scoring. The original plan going into the week has remained, with only the second hole playing a bit longer today in response to the soft conditions. Instead of 185 yards to a tucked left hole location, the yardage is now 204.
- The only thing Davis said he would do differently would have been to apply less water to the greens early in the week when conditions were dry.
- Superintendent Mike Giuffre says he has 6-7 inch roots on the greens and is understandably proud of how well they are rolling. The scoring certainly reflects just how true the surfaces are rolling.
- The 14th, 16th and 17th hole locations are very generous and will yield plenty of birdies, while the 15th and 18th are very difficult and will severely penalize balls missed on the wrong sides of Rees' tiers. The 18th green features a ridge through the center and the hole is cut just beyond it, making up-and-downs from the front area very difficult.
- The greens are rolling nearly 14 feet after preparation and losing about 5-6 inches an hour after that.