Quail Hol­low presents role re­ver­sal with US Open

New Straits Times - - Sport -

CHARLOTTE: Hen­rik Sten­son said this year’s PGA Cham­pi­onship at Quail Hol­low rep­re­sents a role re­ver­sal with the US Open.

Over the years, the US Open has had the rep­u­ta­tion of pre­sent­ing the most dif­fi­cult con­di­tions among golf’s ma­jors and the PGA was known for course set-ups that al­lowed play­ers to at­tack pins.

“I think if you look at this year, the US Open played more like a PGA nor­mally plays, and this one might play more like a US Open nor­mally plays,” Swe­den’s 2016 Bri­tish Open win­ner told Reuters af­ter his Wed­nes­day prac­tice.

“In gen­eral this is go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult week and you’ve got to keep the melon on,” added Sten­son, sug­gest­ing a cool head could be a key to suc­cess.

June’s US Open at Erin Hills pro­duced a slew of scor­ing records, which is not likely to be the case at Quail Hol­low.

The course’s new greens have dom­i­nated talk from play­ers, who have been ex­plor­ing the per­ils of hit­ting into the grain or down grain on the firm, fast Ber­muda grass putting sur­faces.

“The greens are tough,” South African Louis Oosthuizen told Reuters. “Bet­ter stay be­low the hole. I think there’s go­ing to be loads of lag putting this week, even from short dis­tances.

“If you’re in the wrong spot you can’t re­ally af­ford to go for the putt,” the 2010 Bri­tish Open cham­pion said.

Sten­son said po­si­tion­ing ap­proach shots was dif­fi­cult.

“The prob­lem here is that you very rarely can get a ball where you want to,” he said. “Be­cause of the design of the greens you have a lot of slight up­hill into the grain, and on the other side it goes down­hill and away.”

Dou­ble Masters win­ner Bubba Wat­son praised the greens.

“The greens are per­fect. The greens are run­ning so fast, so nice,” said Wat­son, al­though he said he would fol­low a con­ser­va­tive game plan.

“Most of the time you are hit­ting into the fat of the green be­cause you’re hit­ting such long irons or hy­brids,” he said.

“I’m gonna hit a ton of hy­brids this week, be­cause the fair­ways are so soft be­cause of the rain. The guy that wins is go­ing to hit a lot of safe shots to the fat part of the green.”

Young Spa­niard Jon Rahm also liked the greens. “I think the greens are fan­tas­tic, they roll great. They are re­ally fast down grain, but if you hit it on line there’s a high per­cent­age of them go­ing in.

“It will be com­pli­cated for ev­ery­body.”Reuters

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