One of the most recognizable staples of U.S. Opens is the sheer difficulty of the courses that host the national championship. Players fall all across the spectrum of how they’ll deal with some tough conditions.
Earlier this week, we saw Kevin Na more or less plead with the USGA to do something about the unplayability of the fescue that sits just off the fairway, while Lee Westwood used the opportunity to have a little fun. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day have all chalked up the thick rough off of the fairways to a typical U.S. Open.
However, it’s not just the knee-high rough that’s going to cause some big numbers this week.
The sand traps that litter Erin Hills are referred to as “erosion bunkers” owing to their quirky, yet fitting placement around the glacially sculpted course. As a result of the jagged land they were placed upon, these bunkers have already proven to be some of the more difficult shots on the course if players hit a streak of bad luck.
Most notoriously this week, the short par-3 9th hole has been the biggest star in terms of making the best players in the world look foolish. From World No. 8 Alex Noren to Whee Kim and Andrew “Beef” Johnston, the bunkers could be a bigger hazard at this U.S. Open than the penalizing rough.
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