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Course setup, forecast for Round 3 at Merion

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With the season's second major at the mid-way point, USGA executives released information on how Merion Golf Club will set up for players during Saturday's third round:

Green Speeds: Today’s green speeds are in 13- to 13½-foot range on the USGA Stimpmeter

Fairways and Rough Grass: All fairways were mown this morning. The rough’s first cut (18 feet in width of drive zones; 9 feet in width around greens) was cut immediately after play last night.

Weather Forecast for Saturday: Very nice conditions today under lots of sunshine this morning with maybe just a few fair-weather clouds mixing in at times this afternoon. Temperatures will warm up to their seasonal norm this afternoon in the lower 80s. The humidity will be comfortably low by lunchtime with a light breeze out of the northwest this morning and then the westerly flow this afternoon may reach near 10 mph a couple of times during the afternoon hours. Mostly clear skies this evening will give way to partly cloudy skies overnight keeping temperatures up a few degrees from last night. Southwest winds will become more noticeable throughout the day on Sunday ahead of the next storm system, which will also increase our humidity. Look for a decent amount of clouds on Sunday too along with a 40-percent chance of a shower or storm. And that chance of showers and storms continues Sunday night into Monday as we get warmer and more muggy.

Total Course Yardage for Friday (tee marker settings to flagstick) = 3,679 yards out; 3,254 yards in = 6,933 total yards

Hole-by-Hole Information:

Hole 1 – 342 yards; the hole location is a third of the way back hugging the right bunker.  

Hole 2 – 556 yards; the hole location is in the center right portion of the green.  

Hole 3 – 245 yards; tee markers are placed on the forward portion of the back tee; the hole location is placed on the relatively difficult upper left shelf.

Hole 4 – 604 yards; tee markers have been moved to the forward teeing ground, which will allow players to drive closer to the fairway cross bunker and possibly attempt to hit the green in two shots; the hole location is three-quarters of the way back on the left; most putts will be uphill.  

Hole 5 – 510 yards; the hole location is in the center back portion of the green.

Hole 6 – 477 yards; the hole location is in the front left portion of the green several paces over the false front.

Hole 7 – 363 yards; the hole location is placed in center right portion of the green hugging the right bunker.

Hole 8 – 351 yards; the hole location is the front right portion of the green just over the deep bunker that fronts the green; with relatively soft greens, players should be able to impart enough spin to make this a reasonable birdie opportunity.

Hole 9 – 231 yards; the hole location is in the center left plateau.

Hole 10 – 280 yards; tee markers have been moved forward to the penultimate teeing ground giving an opportunity to drive the green; the hole location is in the front left portion of the green just past the front bunker and the false front; putts played from the middle of the green are very fast.

Hole 11 – 370 yards; the hole location is placed in the back left corner of this kidney-shaped green.

Hole 12 – 403 yards; the hole location is placed in center right portion just above the front right bunker; there is a subtle false front between the hole location and the bunker; putts from the center of the green are very fast.

Hole 13 – 98 yards; tee markers are placed on the front left side of the upper teeing ground; the hole location is the front left portion of this “bowl” green.

Hole 14 – 476 yards; tee markers have been moved to the back teeing ground; the hole location is placed in the back center portion just left of the “trough” which runs through the center of the green.

Hole 15 – 397 yards; tee markers have been moved slightly forward giving a few more options off the tee; the hole location is placed on the front left plateau of the green; putts played from the center of the green must be played very high to negotiate the severe right to left break.

Hole 16 – 446 yards; the hole location is placed in the back right portion of the green; the flagstick/wicker is semi-blind to blind from the right side of the fairway due to the ridge at the front of the quarry.

Hole 17 – 254 yards; the tee markers are placed on the back teeing ground; the hole location is in the center of the green just right of a center ridge/undulation that runs front to back.

Hole 18 – 530 yards; given the good weather prediction, the tee markers are placed on the back teeing ground; the relatively light westerly winds will be out of the right on this tee shot; the hole location is in the back center portion of the green; putts tend to “feed” to this hole location.