Friday, June 17

2011 U.S. Open: A Rock and a Hard Place

Editor’s note: I’m at Congressional Country Club this week covering the 2011 U.S. Open. Share your U.S. Open thoughts: Comment below or email me at

SOME PEOPLE WOULD DO almost anything to play in the U.S. Open. For Robert Rock, winner of last week’s BMW Italian Open, it was a $14,000 trip he won’t soon forget.

Rock had visa paperwork problems in London. By the time that got sorted out, there were no direct flights to Washington, D.C. Instead, Rock boarded a flight to Newark, New Jersey, and then hired a driver for the trip down I-95 to Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. Rock slept along the way and teed off at 2:19 p.m. on Thursday without the benefit of a practice round. He had never seen the Blue Course, except on TV.

No problem. Put him down for a 1-under 70.

How did the Englishman explain it? “I don’t know, really,” he said. “I’m playing okay at the moment.”

When asked how much sleep he got, Rock said, “Not a lot. I could do with some more, if you don't mind.”

Currently, Rock is even par for his second round and 1 under for the tournament.

Course Conditions

Now the “hard place” referred to in the above title, which is Congressional Country Club, although Rory McIlroy is making it look almost ridiculously easy at the moment.

Weather: About a quarter of an inch of rain fell Thursday night. A shower or storm is possible from noon to early afternoon. Highs in the mid 80s.

Green speeds: This morning’s green speeds averaged almost 14 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter, and are expected to slow down slightly to the mid 13s by midday.

Rough: The closer-in first cut of rough (3 ¼” and 3 ¾” on the long and short approach-shot holes) along the fairway was mowed late Thursday afternoon. The further-out longer second cut was not mowed.

Friday course yardage: 3,565 yards out; 3,769 yards in for 7,334 total yards.

−The Armchair Golfer

2011 U.S. Open: Day One Belongs to Rory McIlroy
2011 U.S. Open TV Schedule and Tournament Notes
2011 U.S. Open: A 16-Year-Old Player and Other Notes
2011 U.S. Open: ‘Big Blue’ Ready to Challenge Field of 156

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