BETHESDA, Md. – In the last competitive round Hunter Mahan played at Congressional CC, he shot 62 to close at the AT&T National. Two years later, Mahan is back as a slightly different man at the U.S. Open. He’s now married and coming off of a two-win season in 2010.
Just as he’s different, Congressional is also.
“There’s some new tees, it’s longer,” Mahan said Tuesday.
Nevertheless, 62 is not going to be possible this week. In fact, the scores he thought possible just a few days ago may not be out there after all.
“It’s going to be a lot tougher than I thought. I played here on Sunday and I thought that you could make five or six birdies. But I just don’t see that on these greens,” he said. “The greens look like they’re gonna be really firm. They’ve firmed up a lot in the last day and a half. So that’s going to make it harder.”
The putting surfaces are so firm that Mahan can even anticipate a three-putt after a tee shot, if hit in the wrong spot. He said, ”Even on the wrong side of the fairway, going into a hole is going to be difficult.”
Despite its firmness around the greens, Mahan says the 7,500-yard course is playing about as long as he anticipated.
“It’s playing about what you’d expect, length-wise,” he said. “If the wind is like this, though, 18 will be very long and very tough.”