The U.S. Open got a little easier Tuesday, and that didn’t sit well with Rory McIlroy.
The United States Golf Association drew criticism from multiple players regarding the length of the fescue at Erin Hill, so the USGA decided to mow the rough two days before the 2017 U.S. Open tees off.
Although the USGA claims its reaction was based on the weather and not player criticism, it still drew the ire of McIlroy, as the four-time major champion blasted the decision to make the course easier.
“Really? We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” McIlroy said, per CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.
“These are the widest fairways we’ve ever played in a U.S. Open. Even the first and second cut is another 10 yards on top of that. So if you’ve got 50 or 60 yards to hit into and you’re complaining about the fescue that’s wider than that, I don’t think that’s an issue.”
McIlroy has a point. The U.S. Open is supposed to be the toughest test in golf. Every other week of the PGA Tour season the courses are tailored for golfers to put up low numbers. U.S. Open week is meant to test the best golfers in the world and push them to their limits.
But it looks like the scores could be low at Erin Hills this week.
And McIlroy thinks the players who are complaining should focus on their game and not the course.
“I get that it’s thick and whatever, but it’s a hazard,” McIlroy said. “If you put red lines just right along that people wouldn’t complain, it’s a hazard, and … it’s a U.S. Open, it’s supposed to be a tough test. And if guys can’t put it into play within a 50-yard zone I don’t think they’ve got much to complain about.”
Well said, Rory.
Thumbnail photo via Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports Images