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Rory McIlroy was left dismayed after the USGA cut back the fescue on four of the holes at Erin Hills.
The agronomy team got to work on the fourth, 12th, 14th and 18th holes on Tuesday, trimming the fescue back by up to ten yards in some places as players continued their practice rounds.
The rough has been subject of criticism from Kevin Na among others but it is understood that the wet weather, not player influence, which prompted the cutting. Nevertheless, four-time major winner McIlroy was left unimpressed by the USGA’s decision.
“We have 60 yards from left line to right line and you’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here,” said McIlroy. “If we can’t hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home. These are the widest fairways we’ve ever played in a US Open.
Guess the USGA decided to be nice this week and cut down some of the rough 🤔 pic.twitter.com/RPHunJyKx1— Peter Uihlein (@PeterUihlein) June 13, 2017
“Even the first and second cut is another ten yards on top of that. So if you’ve got 50 or 60 yards to hit into and you’re complaining about the fescue that’s wider than that, I don’t think that’s an issue.”
McIlroy, meanwhile, added that he’s fighting fit after the rib injury that has plagued him during the first half of the season.
“Obviously I’ve had a few weeks off to try and rest this injury that I’ve had all year, but I feel good,” he added. “I’ve played eight or nine rounds of golf over the past ten days. I don’t feel it at all. It’s just a matter of managing that sort of practice load, which isn’t a bad thing. It means I can go out and play. I’ve added a few events to my schedule, so looking forward to a busy summer.”
One of those events is the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, where McIlroy will join the likes of Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Alex Noren in a star-studded field.
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