Lee Westwood has given out a warning that the weather could play a big part in the competitive nature of Merion this week.

Merion is renowned as a short yet treacherous test, but the forceast is for bad weather – which could make the course far easier than expected.

And the world number 11 knows the USGA will be praying for the right weather.

“I hope they (The USGA) get the weather for the way they want the golf course to play. I think if it’s wet, it could be torn apart.  

“That’s from not having played it, but from what I can gather talking to people at the USGA.”

Westwood, 40, is one of a substantial number of players who haven’t played Merion competitively.

Only a select few – including Rickie Fowler and Harris English, who played in the 2009 Walker Cup – have prior experience of Merion’s East Course.

In 100 starts in WGC and major events, Westwood has 25 top 10s, 10 of which were third or better.  

The Nottinghamshire local recently moved to America in a bid to improve his results in the major championships by working on all aspects of his game.

“What’s let me down in major championships in recent years has been my short game and since I’ve moved to the States, I’ve gone from 190th in scrambling (PGA Tour Statistics) to fifth, purely because I’ve just had better facilities to practice in.

“(I’ve) not had such a big transition to make from, say, being here (England) in February and practicing on greens that were running at 8 on the Stimpmeter and soft because it’s wet and then going to a World Golf Championships or something like that in the States and having to contend with greens that are running 12 and 13.”  

Westwood – who will be taking part in his 61st major when the action gets underway on Thursday – has notched four top 10s in 11 starts on the PGA Tour this season.