Course setup information for Round 2 at Merion

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 14, 2013, 3:46 pm

With the second round of the U.S. Open underway, USGA executives released information on how Merion Golf Club will set up for players as the season's second major continues Friday:

Green Speeds: Today’s green speeds are roughly one-half foot slower than yesterday due to overnight rain (1/10th inch) and our caution with predicted winds of upwards of 30mph. The speeds will range 12.5 to 13 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter during the day.

Fairways and Rough Grass: Most fairways were cut this morning, but four were only rolled due to standing casual water. Roughs were not cut during yesterday’s p.m. maintenance due to rain.

Weather Forecast for Friday: Generally around a tenth of an inch of rain fell overnight and with the on again, off again showers and sprinkles this morning we could see up to another tenth of an inch of rain at the most. The other main story to start this morning is the cool northerly winds, gusting over 20 mph at times that will keep temperatures below normal today. Winds will decrease throughout the day and as the sun comes out more this afternoon, we will have to watch out for a shower or even a storm, especially around 5 p.m. The clouds should clear out quickly this evening and we are still looking at nearly perfect weather on Saturday under lots of sunshine.

Total Course Yardage for Friday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,689 yards out; 3,212 yards in = 6,901 total yards (will be shortest Open yardage since Pebble Beach in 2000)

Hole-by-Hole Information:

Hole 1 – 356 yards; the hole location is three-quarters of the way back hugging the right side. (Green depth 37 paces; hole 25 paces on, three paces from the right)

Hole 2 – 557 yards; the hole location is in the center left portion of the green. (Green depth 37; hole 17 on, three from the left)

Hole 3 – 203 yards; tee markers are on the forward teeing ground with the hole location placed 7 paces past the front edge of the green; tee shots should be played downwind. (Green depth 47; hole seven on, four from the left)

Hole 4 – 628 yards; the hole location is on the front left “ledge” of the green. (Green depth 40; hole 10 on, three from the left)

Hole 5 – 504 yards; the hole location is in the center of the green; the hole should have a helping wind out of the right. (Green depth 36; hole 18 on, 11 from the right)

Hole 6 – 491 yards; the hole location is in the center of the green; this hole will also have a helping wind out of the right. (Green depth 36; hole 22 on, 14 from left)

Hole 7 – 368 yards; the hole location is placed in center left portion of the green just short of the back left “bowl”. (Green depth 47; hole 31 on, three from the left)

Hole 8 – 363 yards; the hole location is the back left portion of the green; most putts on the green will be uphill to the hole. (Green depth 23; hole 15 on, five from the left)

Hole 9 – 219 yards; the hole location is in the front portion (6 paces on) of this kidney-shaped green; shots played from past the hole will be fast coming back down the hill. (Green depth 42; hole six on, five from the right)

Hole 10 – 303 yards; tee markers are on the back teeing ground; the hole location is in the back left portion of the green. (Green depth 37; hole 29 on, five from the left)

Hole 11 – 363 yards; the hole location is placed in the center right portion of the green. (Green depth 30; hole 15 on, three from the right)

Hole 12 – 405 yards; the hole location is placed in center left portion just left of the “spine” that runs front to back through the green. (Green depth 37; hole 21 on, five from the left)

Hole 13 – 123 yards; tee markers are placed on the left side (upper) of the teeing ground; the hole location is center back of this “bowl” green; tee shots played with less spin will be advantaged. (Green depth 20; hole 14 on, 10 from both right and left sides)

Hole 14 – 453 yards; tee markers were kept on the forward teeing ground for round 2 because of the headwind on tee shots; the hole location is placed back left portion bringing the closely mown mound left of the green into play. (Green depth 41; hole 30 on, six from the left)

Hole 15 – 414 yards; the hole location is tucked behind the bunker that fronts the right portion of the green. (Green depth 33; hole 17 on, seven from the right)

Hole 16 – 434 yards; the hole location is placed five or so paces above the front right bowl. (Green depth 44; hole 25 on, five from the right)

Hole 17 – 206 yards; the tee markers are placed on the forward teeing ground; the hole location is in the front right portion of the green just above the false front; the tee shots are into the north wind. (Green depth 40; hole 14 on, three from the right)

Hole 18 – 501 yards; the tee markers are again placed on the penultimate teeing ground even with the northerly downwind tee shot; the hole location is on the front left portion of the putting green; the hole should played downwind. (Green depth 31; hole 12 on, eight from the left)

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry