Ernie Els is predicting a host of low scores in this week’s US Open at Merion Golf Club after a deluge of rain over the last few days.

Speaking after Monday’s US Open practice round, the Big Easy said he’s expecting a barrage of birdies in the second major of the season.

“After the rain this morning, it’s going to be very sloppy now. You aren’t going to see a firm US Open this year,” said Els.

“I don’t care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways, it’s not going to dry up. You’re going to see a lot more birdies that ever at U.S. Open venues.”

Despite the conditions, Els still maintains the course – which boasts penal rough, narrow fairways and severe green complexes – will still present a challenge.

The first 13 holes at Merion are full of birdie opportunities, but the closing stretch is regarded as one of the hardest finishes in golf.

And Els thinks the conditions and the course will facilitate one of the closest US Opens in recent history.

“I see a very close race with a lot of players in contention this year, unlike other U.S. Opens,” he said.

“It’s going to be bunched, it’s going to be under par and you’ll see quite a few numbers in the red. It’s going to be an exciting US Open.”