Merion GC is quite a beautiful layout with cool elevation changes, fairways & greens that have A LOT of movement and rough that by Thursday’s first round should be just a little higher than it was Tuesday:
Here are a few things I learned on Tuesday.
- Parking is certainly at a premium. Neighbors around Merion GC are making out well if they have an extra spot or two in their driveway. I talked to one gentlemen (great mullet and Philly attitude) who was charging some “corporate guys” from NYC $75 per car (four of them) from 7am to 11am. He had the keys and said if they weren’t back, he would move the cars onto the street. $300 for 4 hours of parking. Cottage industry for the week.
- The spectator areas around the golf course are pretty beat up from the rain on Monday. I just about lost my right shoe to this quagmire at the entrance to #2 off Ardmore Ave:
- PGA Tour events in general seem to attract a number of very attractive women. There were lots of women at Merion yesterday, and the majority were wearing short shorts and Wellies. Fashion AND functionality.
- The practice facility is about a mile away from Merion GC on the Merion West course (I think, correct me if I’m wrong). It’s a bizarre set up that must be a logistical issue for players and fans alike. Finding the shuttle area through the mud paths (an exit or two were closed due to mud), getting over to the range and then figuring on when to get back to Merion to watch play will pose a challenge as crowds swell. Yesterday was easy. I was there at 6:45am and getting around was not an issue.
- I saw some approach shots into #1 and they looked liked wedges. The balls landed softly and spun back several yards. If the greens stay soft, especially in that #7-#13 stretch, these guys will have chances to throw darts. But, they will still need to navigate the closing five holes and survive. I also saw several guys playing pitch shots from the left front rough on #2 in front of the green and that play looked plain nasty!
Can’t wait to see what happens come Sunday. There will be lots of story lines, a Cinderella story at some point, a Tiger charge, a Phil charge. Will the weather on Thursday be a factor for the weekend? Will the softer conditions allow more players to bunch at the top? Let’s all enjoy the spectacle of the US Open unfold. Who will be the 2013 US Open Champion?