Els: "You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry."

Frank but accurate assessment from Ernie Els today as Merion is getting hit with more rains.

And its only Monday.

Q.  Can you just talk about how the course played yesterday?  You had a good bit of rain on Friday and Saturday.  And what do you expect if it does remain soft?  Is the scoring going to be easier?  How will it play differently than the way they'd like it?

    ERNIE ELS:  Yesterday it was beautiful.  It was just starting to dry out.  The greens were getting a little bit firmer.  The surfaces are just unbelievable.  The fairways were still quite wet.  I guess they couldn't get the rollers on the fairways.  But the fairways are also getting a little bit firmer.  But they're still soft.  After the rain this morning, it's going to be very sloppy now.  You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year, I'm sorry.  I don't care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways, it's not going to dry up.

    We're going to have a soft golf course this week all week.  It means that if you're on your game you're going to have a lot of birdie putts.  There's quite a few par‑4s where you've just got to put it in the fairway.  You can put it in the fairway with an iron, from a 5‑iron for a 3‑iron, just putting it into play, and then you've got quite a short second shot.

    I can see pin placements are going to be quite tough to protect the course.  You're going to see a lot more birdies than ever at U.S. Open venues.  But the finish is still very strong.  The par‑3s are very, very strong.  And there's some par‑4s; 5 and 6, obviously 18 and 14 is a very strong hole.  So there's some really strong par‑4s, but then you've got some birdie chances.  I should say the par‑3s are going to be tough.