Pebble Beach, Calif. – For those of you watching at home, here’s the skinny on the course setup for Round 3 of the U.S. Open, as provided by Mike Davis, USGA senior director of Rules and Competitions.
Weather Forecast: Winds this morning were light and variable, mainly from the north at less than 8 mph. More of a northwest wind of 8-12 mph was expected by midday and this will be the case through mid-afternoon. Strongest winds will come from the west-northwest at 10-18 mph, with the highest gusts (possibly up to 25 mph) between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Look for a good deal of cloud-cover, with a bit more sun than Friday, mainly during the mid-to late-afternoon.
Green Speeds: Today’s green speeds are very consistent with what they have been for the last six days – mid-13s in the early morning, which should settle out in the mid- to high-12s by midday.
Rough: Given the dry weather and very little growth, we have decided not to mow the rough for the remainder of the championship. It will still have the characteristics we are seeking.
Water Management: Today’s golf course will be firmer than it was during Rounds 1 and 2 and similar to the practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday. Lighter hand-watering was applied to all the greens last night to replenish the moisture lost yesterday. In addition, very light hand-watering was also completed this morning (after firmness and moisture readings were taken) to the ninth and 14th greens, as well as small portions of the 12th and 17th greens, in order to keep firmness conditions consistent from green to green. The putting green approaches have become very firm (firmer than the greens), so the bounce-in shot will be a big part of today’s play.
Hole 3 – tee markers moved up two teeing grounds (34 paces forward). The hole location is in the small, back-right quadrant. A player can either play to the normal drive zone, or play aggressively off the tee over the trees to an area short-left of the green and be left with an unencumbered pitch shot to the hole
Hole 4 – tee markers moved up 40 paces. The hole plays 290 yards to the center of green (284 yards to the flagstick), making this a drivable par 4. With the west winds, this hole will play straight downwind. The hole location is front left, so a bail-out off the tee to the left (away from the ocean) will short-side the player.
Hole 5 – 181 yards to a front left hole location from the right side of tee. Being downwind, this reverse-Redan-like design will require the player to land short left of the green.
Hole 7 – 99 yards; the front right portion of the back tee has been used with the front left hole location. This is the shortest par three in modern U.S. Open history.
Hole 12 – 193 yards; the front right hole location is being used, which requires the player to land his ball in the putting green approach in order to get it close.
Hole 17 – 206 yards; the tee markers are moved left (on the fourth hole’s teeing ground) in concert with a hole location on the right portion of the green up against the ridge. Tee shots played short and right of the hole will leave the player will relatively simple second shots. However, players who miss their tee shot to the left (noting the prevailing wind is right-to-left) will be short-sided.