The USGA can basically forget “firm and fast.”
Weather has come into play in a big way at Erin Hills and the 117th U.S. Open hasn’t even started.
Storms blew in Monday night and continued into Tuesday morning and there’s more rain in the forecast. A lot more.
The forecast calls for an 80 percent chance of more storms Wednesday and Wednesday night with Thursday looking a lot better at just 20 percent chance of the wet stuff.
Friday could face a problem, the call is for 80 percent chance of rain while Saturday looks better at just 30 percent. Sunday will be testy — 60 percent chance of rain.
What does it all mean?
It means the USGA will not have a firm-and-fast track like it wanted. It also means that the knee-high fescue will be virtually unplayable once it gets wet. It also means that it will be a lot easier to hit fairways and will no doubt favor the power players.
Greens will be more receptive and when you add it all up, it could play easier.
The wild card is the length. The USGA can make this beast play 7,700 yards if it wanted.
If some wind comes up, it could look a lot like an Open Championship, given the deep, rough bunkering at Erin Hills.
The good news is that the days are really long this time of year in Wisconsin. Sunrise at Erin Hills comes at 5:12 a.m. while the sun doesn’t set until 8:34 p.m.
There could be a lot of starting and stopping of play on Friday and Sunday.
The players who showed up last week and got their prep work done will have an advantage. The guys who were depending on Tuesday and Wednesday, well, they’re up the creek.
It will be a very tough test, no doubt and the weather will be a “major” factor.
Stay tuned for the fun!