PGA TOUR rookies Cameron Young, Mito Pereira and Davis Riley will be among the notable figures to be discussed in Draws and Fades.
If Boston had straight streets, The Country Club would be only three miles from Fenway Park. In fact, it could be a long-travelled route for avid sports fans as the Red Sox start with nine games this week. Another two miles into town – again as the crow flies – the Celtics will host Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. So since it’s a short vacation day for the Oakland Athletics, you could attend all three events on Thursday alone, subject to ticket availability of course.
Boston sports fans are notoriously passionate about their support… and their criticism. All by themselves, they bring to life the good, the bad, and the ugly of why we allow ourselves to fall in love with the sport. The US Open doesn’t come to town often, so it’s the best bet for those planning to do at least two of these activities. However, once someone enters the country club, they will likely want to stay. The 7,264 yard stock par 70 visually stimulates the senses so you can only imagine how it addresses the sensitivity of the 156 in the field.
A first step in the restoration of Hanse and Wagner was the removal of trees. As a result, awe-inspiring vistas have replaced the more classic, tree-lined memories of the 1988 US Open and 1999 Ryder Cup. The 2013 US Amateur is the latest notable competition to be hosted here. Matt Fitzpatrick prevailed, Corey Conners was a semifinalist, Scottie Scheffler was a quarterfinalist, and Xander Schauffele and Patrick Rodgers made it to the round of 16 this week. All and many more who advanced to matchplay are back this week.
There’s almost always an inverse relationship between trees and escape opportunities, but the new elbowroom won’t encourage drivers to pull more often. The triple combination of typically knobby, rugged sight lines from tees, seriously sheltered Poa Bentgrass greens, and putting surfaces that average just under 4,440 square feet will compel most to play target golf. Greens range from 3,222 square feet on the famous par-4 17th hole to 6,556 square feet on the par-3 sixth.
All in all, the conditions in these areas are typical in mid-June, which means that tomorrow will not be much like today. After a pedestrian opener, the threat of inclement weather makes its way sometime into Friday and perhaps later in the day. It’s getting warm and muggy. Another chance of rain comes on Saturday when the daily high may not reach 75 degrees. It will keep falling for the finale, which should be a fantastic finish. Wind could be a factor anywhere, especially with intruding energy.
The US Open is often defined as the tournament that recognizes the best golfer, but The Country Club is likely to feature one of the best golfers in recent memory. Confidence off the tee sets the theme, while precision on the approach pays off the plan, but the normally thin line between par and bogey is much more pronounced at the US Open. Because of the challenge, not only will par be an acceptable score, but there will also be some good bogeys squared.
The champion will likely have cooked a recipe dominated by one part course management and two parts patience. Relying on others to make more mistakes is the secret ingredient.
ROB BOLTON’S SCHEDULE
PGATOUR.com’s Rob Bolton summarizes and previews each tournament from multiple perspectives. As planned, look for his following posts.
MONDAY: power rankings
TUESDAY*: Sleepers, draws and fades
WEDNESDAY: Pick ‘Em preview
SUNDAY: Medical renewals, qualifiers, reshuffles, rookie rankings
* – Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Selection for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, also released Tuesday.