PINEHURST, N.C. – While overnight rains created soft conditions at Pinehurst No. 2, the USGA put some bite back into the course with its setup decisions for Round 2 of the 114th U.S. Open.
Tournament officials have the course playing 7,428 yards Friday, which is 68 yards longer than the par-70 layout played in the opening round but still 134 yards below the maximum yardage on the scorecard.
Players will face an especially daunting stretch on holes 4-6. The USGA moved up the tees on each of those holes in the opening round – with the par-4 fourth playing 497 yards, the par-5 fifth reachable at 528 yards and the par-3 sixth measuring 192 yards. In the second round, though, the tee is moved back on No. 4 which now plays 523 yards, while the fifth and sixth holes are stretched out to 563 yards and 245 yards, respectively.
One hole where players will have a reprieve is on the par-4 third, which measured just 391 yards in the opening round – but still played over par. The hole has been trimmed to 315 yards for the second round, enticing players to take an aggressive approach from the tee.
After receiving nearly an inch of rain overnight, the greens at Pinehurst No. 2 will average just below 12 feet on the Stimpmeter today, according to the USGA. That speed is down from the opening round, when the greens averaged 12.5 feet in speed.
The USGA also confirmed that because of debris created by the overnight rain, fairways and closely-mown areas around the greens were not mown this morning in advance of second-round play.