ARDMORE, Pa. – When Jim Furyk stepped to The Olympic Club’s 16th tee at last year’s U.S. Open he was tied for the lead and in complete control of his game. That’s when confusion and doubt set in.
The tee for Sunday’s final round had been moved up two tee boxes, turning the monstrous 670-yard par 5 into something unfamiliar.
“The tee was 100 yards up,” Furyk said at the time. “I know the USGA gives us a memo saying that they play from multiple tees, but there's no way to prepare for 100 yards. … I was unprepared and didn't know exactly where to hit the ball off the tee.”
Furyk pulled his tee shot into trees left of the fairway, made bogey and finished two strokes behind champion Webb Simpson. The USGA sent a similar memo to players this week, but don’t expect such a dramatic head fake at Merion.
USGA executive director Mike Davis said on Wednesday he plans to play multiple tees at Nos. 3 (from 219 yards to 259), 14 (425 to 465), 17 (210 to 246) and 18 (505 to 521), but nothing as varied as what he did at The Olympic Club.
“I don’t think we have anything in our back pocket like that,” Davis said.
The 10th hole, a short, 303-yard par 4, could also be moved up a tee in attempt to prompt players to try and drive the green. “We might,” Davis smiled when asked about that possibility.