Mother Nature lends a helping hand to Medinah

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Mother Nature to the rescue.

At least that’s the feeling around Medinah, which will host this year’s Ryder Cup but has been agronomically stressed this summer by unusually high temperatures.

Consecutive nights with temperatures in the 50s have helped the No. 3 Course recover from the heat wave and eased officials’ fears that the layout would not be at its best for September’s matches.

Officials were so concerned they closed the course to all play for three days last week (Wednesday through Friday) and maintenance crews began hand-watering the greens, according to one Medinah member who requested anonymity.

“There’s been a huge improvement,” said the member.

The course will be closed again this week (Monday through Wednesday) for a scheduled aeration and will close for good on Labor Day (Sept. 3), giving crews more than three weeks to ready the Chicago-land gem for this year’s Ryder Cup.

As for how U.S. captain Davis Love III, who has made two trips to Medinah in recent months, may set up the No. 3 Course, the member told GTC that the first cut has more than doubled (to about 10 inches wide), which is perceived to be an advantage for America’s long hitters like Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson.