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Top 10 Hardest Open Venues

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No. 10 ' Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

Curt Byrum: In my opinion, it's the best golf course in America. I love the links style and I love all the factors of being seaside like that. It's a phenomenal venue for any major championship but for the U.S. Open its perfect.
Corey Pavin: Shinnecock is one of my favorites, obviously, and a golf course that gets pretty windy out there and requires a lot of shot making and thinking. You have to place the ball in certain places. It's not about hitting 18 greens, its about leaving it in the right spot. It's a wonderful golf course and stands the test of time as well.
The Country Club

No. 9 ' Brookline Country Club

John Hawkins: Brookline is a beautiful piece of property. It's just as old school as old school gets.
Martin Davis: Brookline is a sentimental course, I mean it's the course that really kicked off golf in America at the 1913 U.S. Open where Francis Ouimet, a caddie who lives across the street, beats the two greatest British professionals of their day in a playoff. It's a difficult course. I'm not sure it's big enough anymore, (but) it's certainly tough enough.

No. 8 ' Merion Golf Club

Lee Trevino: Don't you worry about Merion (hosting the 2012 U.S. Open), because Merion has a lot of holes that bend. They'll have those fairways 22 yards wide if that, and they'll have that grass up about a foot high going into those little bitty greens and those bunkers in front of those greens. It will be absolutely fabulous watching this.
Oakland Hills

No. 7 ' Oakland Hills Country Club

Jeff Rude: They called it a monster, you know, 'Hogan slays a monster.' That reads like a fairytale, brings a monster to his knees. Ben Hogan's like a mythical character anyway and now he's dealing with a monster.
Jamie Diaz: The U.S. Open changed a lot when they went to Oakland Hills in 1951, that's when the U.S. Open turned into this torture chamber for various reasons but Robert Trent Jones the architect took it upon himself to make the hardest golf course and update the game to challenge the best players. I think they felt at that time the setups were starting to get too easy and I guess maybe the U.S. Open wanted its own identity and it became the hardest major championship.

No. 6 ' Pinehurst No. 2

Jerry Kelly: Everyone wants to see us struggle and that's fine, they're the majors, we deserve to struggle once in awhile.
Jim Furyk: It looks like you flip the bowl over on every green and the edges fall off.
John Hawkins: Domed greens? The USGA shouldn't be allowed within 50 miles of a domed green because of what they do to a green.
Pebble Beach Golf Links

No. 5 ' Pebble Beach Golf Links

Curtis Strange: Conditions are the No. 1 ingredient that Pebble Beach has to offer, or challenge us. The fog, which is always cool and damp, the ball doesn't go as far. Wind is a heck of a part of the equation, and then you have some of the smallest greens you ever want to play.
Tom Kite: It's (par-3 7th) a little downhill wedge...and yet one person in the last 30 players in the (1992) U.S. Open hit that green in regulation.
Olympic Club

No. 4 ' Olympic Club

Tom Lehman: It's probably the hardest driving golf course of the bunch. Olympic to me was always about how do you get the ball in the fairway because the fairways have so much slope.
Dave Shedloski: Whats great about Olympic is what is hard about golf and that's to know you have to shape a shot into an area that may look like you need to go the other way.
Bethpage Black

No. 3 ' Bethpage State Park ' Black Course

Rand Jerris: The designs in and of itself is a challenge, but under U.S. Open conditions it presents as true a test of golf as any other course.
Bob Bubka: Back in 2002, United States Golf Association, and much credit to David Faye, made the choice of selecting a public golf course to contest our national championship. Bethpage Black had been legendary for many years but really wasn't up to snuff, the quality that it needed. They brought in Reece Jones, who by the way donated all his services, to bring Bethpage up to a standard required to hold our National Open. Reece did a wonderful job, the golf course was unbelievable. It was a bear, a bear of a golf course.

No. 2 ' Oakmont Country Club

Tiger Woods: If you're 10-handicaper, there's no way you're breaking 100 out there. Very simple.
Curtis Strange: It's a grand ole place but you can learn to hate it in a second. It can really eat you up.
Winged Foot

No. 1 ' Winged Foot Golf Club

Mike Johnson: Ever since Dick Schaap dubbed it the 'Massacre at Winged Foot,' we've all had a fascination with Winged Foot as one of those diabolically difficult golf courses. And let me tell you, it earns every accolade of that.
Curtis Strange: On a day to day basis, under U.S. Open conditions, Winged Foot is the toughest.
Dave Marr: Jack Nicklaus said it was the 18 most difficult finishing holes in golf.