Davis added that the primary objective when setting up the course is to challenge the best golfers in the world by making them play all the different shots.
The USGA feels comfortable that Merion is an ideal course to do just that. Players will have to mange a great variety of shots if they want to have a chance to win this year.
As far as the winning score for the week, Davis added that golf is played outdoors and that how the course plays ultimately depends upon the weather. This week is going to be a prime example. With the rain that has fallen in the past days, the USGA has not been able to get out to mow the roughs.
I can attest to some very deep and thick rough around the green complexes and just off the fairways.
Whereas players agree that the softer conditions are making the fairways "play wider," a wind that is swirling around is going to make Merion very challenging off the tee. Add the nuisance of rain and the potential of rain delays, one of the most important skills in golf will be needed to get through the week with a chance of winning: patience.