The United States Open is intended to challenge the games best players both physically and mentally. It is regarded as the most complete, rigorous test of golf a player will experience.
Winning a U.S. Open is as much about patience and persistence as it is about hitting quality golf shots. Being able to control ones emotions will be paramount this week at Merion Golf Club.
Key to playing well this week at Merion will be keeping ones golf ball in the fairway. Now, that isn’t exactly a profound statement as the middle of the fairway is rarely a bad spot to try and position your golf ball. But as you watch the action this week, pay attention to how often a player misses a shot and then compounds his mistake by not getting his golf ball back in play on the next shot.
Case in point was Rory McIlroy on the 15th hole during the first round. McIlroy missed his tee shot right into a deep fairway bunker. Instead of playing towards the left side of the fairway, McIlroy aimed his next shot towards the green and came up 30 to 40 yards short of the putting surface. On the line he took from the bunker, his ball proceeded to hit the fairway and then spin back into the heavy rough. McIlroy made bogey and dropped to +1 for the tournament.
It’s going to be subtle decisions like the one McIlroy had to make on 15 that will differentiate the players in contention on Sunday with the players struggling to get any momentum at Merion Golf Club.