We expected brutal conditions at Winged Foot but the course was soft and scoreable on day one at the US Open
Was Winged Foot Too Easy? – US Open 2020
However, ahead of round one the rough was cut and the greens were very receptive on Thursday, with players commenting on just how soft the course was.
The pins were also placed very generously.
The ‘easy’ setup led to Justin Thomas shooting a five under par 65, which was the lowest ever round at a Winged Foot US Open.
“The greens are very soft. I thought they’d be a little firmer, but I also understood that they need to err on this side so they can get them how they want this weekend,” Justin Thomas said.
“We had soft conditions this morning, a little overcast. Wind wasn’t really blowing very much. So it was good scoring conditions.”
The previous five Winged Foot US Opens saw a combined 17 opening rounds under par. On Thursday there were 21 men under par.
According to ‘Outside The Cut’ on Twitter, Winged Foot’s Head of Grounds Steve Rabideau was “livid” with the USGA over their set up of the course for day one.
Rabideau had previously said in an interview this year that he hoped the winning score would be eight over par.
“I don’t see any reason why it won’t get harder and get more difficult,” Tiger Woods said.
“I just think that the golf course is there to be had. They gave us a lot of opportunities with the hole locations.
“Obviously they could have made it a lot more difficult if they wanted to, but I thought it was very fair.”
Was the course too easy? Yes, it probably was judging by the numbers.
However, it is highly likely that the course will be playing much tougher over the next few days as the grounds staff will be ensuring the greens get firmer and firmer and the rough gets juicier.
The pins look tucked for Friday’s second round and there are winds forecast for 15mph.
“They can dry the greens out. They can hide the flags a lot more,” Lee Westwood said.
“It would surprise me if 5 under is not the best score of the week at the end of the week. If anyone shoots any lower than that, they’ll have really played well, I think.”
Let’s look forward to the world’s best players being tested to the maximum over the weekend ahead.
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