Davis: Merion one of the 'highlights of my career'

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When the U.S. Open returns to Merion next month for the first time since 1981, USGA executive director Mike Davis said the tournament will be one of the “highlights of my entire career.”

Certainly, it will be one of the most interesting.

The East Course will play to a par 70 and just under 7,000 yards. Though graduated rough has been one of the distinctive features of Davis’ setups, the rough at Merion will be “more penal” when compared to other Open venues, especially on the shorter holes.

“Merion’s personality is always about accuracy,” he said on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” “What we’re trying to do is look at the personality of each U.S. Open course. Merion is a very precise course that always has thick rough.” 

The East Course is set on about 111 acres – even smaller courses, Davis said, are generally about 150 – and the walks from green to tee are “very short, very comfortable,” though it may also cause a few bottlenecks for players and spectators.

“It’s one of the things that makes Merion so historic, so magical, just an architectural gem,” Davis said. “To come back to Merion, it’s one of the highlights of my entire career. It’s truly a golf landmark.”