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Monday, June 10, 2024

U.S. Open: Wyndham Clark provides eye-poping report on Pinehurst’s greens

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Wyndham Clark, the defending U.S. Open champion, arrived at Pinehurst No. 2 on Monday prepared for his title protection.

After enjoying a observe spherical, he made a shocking characterization of the course’s greens.

“They’re extraordinarily quick. If the greens get any firmer and quicker, they’d be borderline,” Clark mentioned.

“They already are borderline.”

Over the previous decade, the United States Golf Affiliation (USGA) has drawn ire from quite a few gamers for organising golf programs unfairly. Shinnecock Hills in 2018 instantly involves thoughts. Simply ask Phil Mickelson concerning the course setup that 12 months. Chambers Bay in 2015 additionally acquired a good dose of criticism, as did Oakmont a 12 months later.

So when Clark makes use of the phrase “borderline,” he implies that the greens are “borderline unfair.”

Wyndham Clark, U.S. Open

Wyndham Clark chats together with his caddie John Ellis forward of the 2024 U.S. Open.
Photograph by Gregory Shamus/Getty Photographs

Pinehurst No. 2’s greens are well-known for his or her turtle-back shapes, which makes them a lot smaller than their precise measurement. Slight misfires will roll off the perimeters of those placing surfaces, leaving gamers scrambling from precarious positions across the greens.

Plus, no rain is within the forecast, that means these greens will solely get harder because the week wears on. Temperatures in North Carolina will hover within the excessive 80s and low 90s, that means the placing surfaces will solely agency up.

But, Clark and the opposite 155 gamers within the subject should cope with them for what they’re.

“So far as training, the largest factor is the place you allow your self on the greens,” Clark defined.

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“In the present day, I went with my caddie [John Ellis] and we have been actually charting to sure pins, like we’d quite be right here than there. Generally, that just about might imply not that you just’re attempting to overlook a inexperienced, however you’re erring in the direction of the simpler up and down.”

An adage for enjoying No. 2 is to not hearth at flagsticks however to play proper into the guts of the greens. From there, it is best to attempt to two-putt and stroll away with par.

U.S. Open, Pinehurst No. 2

The sixth inexperienced at Pinehurst No. 2.
Photograph by David Cannon/Getty Photographs

However no two-putt par is assured when you’re on these placing surfaces.

“It’s a must to play a number of break on these greens,” Clark mentioned.

“Once we’re hitting lag putts and brief putts, you might have a 10-footer downhill, down-grain. Usually, you’re no more than 4 or 5 inches exterior the cup on most greens. Right here, you’re perhaps enjoying 10 to 12 inches, so that you’re not getting under the outlet and having it run away. It’s actually a number of observe. That’s what we’re going to concentrate on quite a bit.”

Clark didn’t compete within the 2014 U.S. Open, the final time Pinehurst No. 2 hosted this championship. He was nonetheless in school then.

However Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion, did.

“They’re fairly much like 2014 from what I keep in mind,” Simpson mentioned Monday.

“That is fairly typical U.S. Open within the sense that par is a superb pal to you all week. It’s a brutally arduous golf course. I feel what Martin Kaymer did in 2014 was unimaginable. Should you take out his successful rating [of 9-under], second place that 12 months, and the earlier two winners, it was someplace proper round even, one over or one underneath. I don’t foresee anyone doing what [Kaymer] did then. However you by no means know ‘trigger guys are so good.”

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By. Remember to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You’ll be able to observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as nicely.

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