OAKMONT, Pennsylvania, June 16 (Reuters) - Officials expect Oakmont Country Club to play just the way they want in Saturday’s third round after the rock-hard greens were watered overnight and again earlier in the day.
Some players complained the par-70 layout was too difficult on Friday when the average score almost reached 77 but the United States Golf Association (USGA) championship committee is happy with the conditions.
“Greens should not get any firmer at any point today than what we saw very late in the day yesterday,” USGA officials said in a statement. “The greens were watered last night and the firmest greens were watered early this morning.”
All 18 greens were then watered again two hours before third-round play began at 1005 local (1405GMT).
“We like where we are right now and we are going to do all we can to hold it right there for Saturday and Sunday,” USGA championship committee chairman Jim Hyler said after the second round.
“It’s a hard golf course and it’s our national championship. We want it to be a rigorous test, but we want it to be fair.”
World number one Tiger Woods, who will start the third round five strokes behind leader Angel Cabrera of Argentina after shooting a 74 on Friday, felt some of the greens were borderline.
“It’s close,” he told reporters when asked if he thought the tight, hilly course was getting away from the officials.
“It’s right on the edge, I think. The first green, thank God I have spikes on because I think I would have slipped right off the back.”