ERIN, Wis. – Kevin Na found the now-infamous fescue only once Thursday at Erin Hills. His tee shot landed about 2 feet into the tall grass to the left of the par-5 seventh hole, his ball nestled so deep that he was surprised the spotters even found it.
You’d think that he would have learned his lesson after his viral Instagram post on Sunday, but instead Na requested a wedge to hack out.
“No chance,” said his caddie, Kenny Harms.
And so Na took an unplayable lie, dropped in the first cut of rough and ended up making bogey. It was one of only two blemishes during a 4-under 68 that put the week’s unlikely hero just three shots off the early lead.
It was Na who first posted on social media about the absurd length of some of the fescue at this brand-new U.S. Open venue. Na said that his message was misinterpreted, that he actually likes the design and was merely trying to convey just how difficult it was for the players this week.
The USGA insisted that Na’s post had nothing to do with the decision, but the maintenance staff on Tuesday mowed some of the deepest fescue on four holes.
Did Na buy it?
“I’m not gonna say anything about that,” he said with a smile. “That’s a no-win for me.”
Whatever the reason, Na became a popular man on the range, with his fellow players expressing their gratitude.
Some even asked him: “Hey, can you tell them the course is too long? Maybe they’ll move up the tees.”
Hmm, not a bad idea.