Another month, another Major.
And this time the US Open returns to Pebble Beach for the first time since 2010.
Unlike the PGA Championship last month at Bethpage, you should expect a very different type of course out at Pebble. It’s going to favor the more accurate players, rather than the long hitters and will punish those who hit into the rough, which is grown to 18 inches.
But it seems like the players are ready for the test.
“But from what I’ve heard from everybody, the course is absolutely perfect,” said 2017 PGA Champion Justin Thomas. “There’s not a blade of grass out of place. Jordan said it’s the best poa annua greens he’s ever seen in his life. And he said that, so that’s saying something.
“And I’m excited to check it out. I really do love U.S. Opens, I love the test, the grind. They just have a different feel to them, like all the majors do. And I’m excited to go out there and check it out because when you get weather like this at Pebble Beach, it’s got to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s going to be a fun week.”
Hopefully the USGA gets this one right. Where they find the Goldielocks placement for the holes. They don’t want to make it too hard like Shinnecock last year or too easy like it was in Erin Hills in 2017.
But we will have to see how it plays out. And because of Pebble’s location, the wind may become a factor as well, so we have to see how the weather holds out.
“To me I look at Pebble as not necessarily a place that the more you play it you have an advantage, necessarily,” said Rickey Fowler. “It’s a pretty straightforward golf course. There’s only a couple of tee shots that are somewhat blind that you need to just make sure that you’re comfortable on lines. It’s pretty much right in front of you. Very small greens.”
It’s going to be the greens where this tournament is won or lost and the USGA needs to find a fair placement of the holes, so birdies are possible for the players.
Back to back champion Brooks Koepka is coming off a win at Bethpage, so obviously he will be a contender. However, you have to wonder is he can get the three-peet at the Open. Pebble is not the type of course that favors his long game, so it will be a challenge for the best player in the world right now.
And then there is Rory McIlroy, fresh off a Canadian Open win. Can the Irish golfer conquer the Beach? And how about Tiger Woods, who won this back in 2000?
All of these questions will be answered this week, and like Shinnecock last year, Pebble Beach will write its own story.
“I really do love U.S. Opens, I love the test, the grind,” Thomas said. “They just have a different feel to them, like all the majors do. And I’m excited to go out there and check it out because when you get weather like this at Pebble Beach, it’s got to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s going to be a fun week.”
That’s for certain.