Rory McIlroy urges USGA not to get "goofy" with course set-up

Rory McIlroy hopes the USGA doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past with the course set-up at this week's US Open.

Jack Seddon's picture
Wed, 16 Sep 2020

Rory McIlroy is currently pretty happy with the course set-up at Winged Foot after playing a practice round to prepare for this week's' US Open, but the Northern Irishman hopes the USGA has learned from past mistakes.

It's no secret that the USGA has often been scrutinised for the way in which courses have been set-up at the US Open, most notably at Shinnecock Hills and Chambers Bay in previous years.

This year's venue, Winged Foot in New York, is widely regarded as one of the toughest golf courses around, with Tiger Woods saying it's "up there with Oakmont and Carnoustie."

McIlroy, who hasn't won a major in six years, has never played Winged Foot before and after a practice round on Monday, the 31-year-old was impressed with the 7477-yard par-70 course, but has urged the USGA to not go over the top in making last minute changes for the US Open.

"This is the first time I've had a look at it," said McIlroy. "I played 18 holes on Monday and loved what I saw. It's hard, obviously, but I think it's very, very fair. When I played Oakmont for the first time, my initial reaction was, 'this place is impossible'.

"This course gives you a little more chance if you miss it, I guess. You can run the ball up on to the greens and maybe it's a touch more playable, but it's a tough track, and I'm still learning it as I go here.

"I've only played 18 holes here, but something would have to go seriously wrong to get into the realms of goofy golf. I think good shots here seem to get rewarded.

"Going back to Oakmont, it's a wonderful golf course, but I think the Oakmont set-up normally is right about on the edge, and if you just go a little further, then that can start to get a little goofy, where here it doesn't seem like that can happen.

"Certainly if you get it way too firm and you get some crosswinds and stuff, it can get pretty dicey, but from what I've seen yesterday and today, I expect that not to happen.

"It's cooler temperatures. I'm sure the course can get pretty firm, but it's a little different in September than it usually is in June, as well, I guess."

McIlroy's week will begin on Thursday at 1:07pm (UK time) where he starts on the 10th hole playing alongside Adam Scott and Justin Rose.

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