As the US Open launches on Thursday golf fans will be watching the most difficult challenge on the world’s best players. For the first time in over 20 years the tournament will not have either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson in it. Tiger is still hurt and Phil opted to attend his daughter’s graduation. While that is one part of the story, the bigger story is going to be the pesky long grass that will grab golf balls and wreck scores of many of the next 4 days.
Fescue. Fescue is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the grass family, Poaceae (subfamily Pooideae). They are evergreen or herbaceous perennial tufted grasses with a height range of 10–200 cm (4–79 in) and a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring on every continent except Antarctica. The genus is closely related to ryegrass (Lolium), and recent evidence from phylogenetic studies using DNA sequencing of plant mitochondrial DNA shows that the genus lacks monophyly. Don’t worry, I have no idea what I just read either. It’s LONG grass and it will become a problem. Golf is a four letter word that brings out other more colorful four letter words from frustrated players. This fescue is going to not only test the game of the PGA players but the vocabulary of those that fail.
Rory McIlroy explained that the fairways at Erin Hills are plenty wide and if players are complaining they have bigger problems to worry about. “We have 60 yards from left line to right line,” McIlroy said. “You’ve got 156 of the best players in the world here. If we can’t hit it in that avenue, you may as well pack your bags and go home.” The players will be tested for sure, the golf will be good and maddening all at one. The scores may climb as high as the fescue but that will also make the challenge a “good watch” for us hacks at home.