Players seeing red at Congressionals Blue
This probably was not what Mike Davis envisioned for the first U.S. Open at Congressional since William Jefferson Clinton was set up in the White House, a leader mowing down 36-hole scoring records and a double-digit under par total for the champion almost inevitable.And there doesnt seem to be any letup in sight for the affable executive director of the U.S. Golf Association. Overnight rains continued to soften the Blue Course and green speeds hovered around 13 on the Stimpmeter, more than a full foot slower than Davis had anticipated.I talked with Mike Davis this morning, said Webb Simpson, who continued the assault on Congressional with a third-round 66. You can tell he just wanted to get the greens a little firmer, but up here in the Northeast its so hard when the weather is like this. Bois TaylorMade R7 CGB Max According to Simpson, Saturdays pins are tucked into more difficult positions, particularly at the 10th hole where the pin is cut atop a center spine and officials opined in the days course setup sheet that a ball hit over the green will almost surely be a bogey.Davis Co. also set up the risk/reward par-5 sixth hole for more risk than reward, playing from nearly the tips with a pin cut five paces from the left edge. Still, there doesnt appear to be much the USGA can do to stop the onslaught with Saturdays scoring average (72.95) already a full stroke lower than Thursdays (74.10). TaylorMade Burner SuperFast Driver McDowell made a valiant effort in defense of his championship, shooting 70-74-69-69 for a 2-under 282 total.What makes McIlroy so good?Hes the best drive of the golf ball Ive ever seen, McDowell said. His iron play is aggressive. Hes got a great ball flight and hes got a great touch around the greens. His putting has been the only question mark and his little bit of perhaps, how do you call it, lack of being able to close to this point. Those are the only two parts of his game that have been in questions. Hes putting all the question marks to rest this week. You almost had to rub your eyes looking at the U.S. Open leaderboards Saturday as you made your way around Congressional Country Club. driver taylormade r9 All those red numbers, all those low scores and all those smiles on players leaving the scoring area, what in the name of P.J. Boatwrights going on this week? Its not a true U.S. Open test out there, to be honest with you, defending champion Graeme McDowell said. Rory McIlroy isnt the only player going low this year. Some scores from the third round: Lee Westwood, 65; Jason Day, 65; Fredrik Jacobson, 66; Webb Simpson, 66.McDowell said the weathers a huge factor, with soft greens allowing players to attack flagsticks. I've been a little disappointed with the golf course the last couple of days, McDowell said. It wasn't as firm and fast as I would like to have seen it. Callaway FT-iQ Driver The storms on Thursday night really softened the place . . . There were some tough pins out there, no doubt. I'd like to see it tougher than it was. That's the weather; you can't control that." Hes certainly had more near misses than most. Still, he didnt hesitate mentioning McIlroys Masters meltdown two months ago.I dont know where Im going to be at the end of the day but my mission was to get myself somewhere into the tournament, Westwood said. But you dont know how Rory is going to do.