While Rory McIlroy has taken an instant likening to Erin Hills he says the USGA is under the “cosh” to get correct the set-up of this week’s host venue.
A number of players, including Graeme McDowell and Adam Scott, have joked a player could lose a caddy in the, in parts, near neck high rough.
American Kevin Na went onto Twitter slamming the USGA, as organisers of the event, throwing ball in the rough and then losing it after hitting two shots. Na went as far as calling for former U.S. Open winners to be consulted in setting-up the courses.
McIlroy had led a social media outcry a year ago over the Dustin Johnson rules fiasco and while he is not about to follow Na going onto Twitter, he insisted the USGA is again under the microscope.
“Given what has happened the last few years, the USGA is right under the cosh again this week”, he said.
“They are under pressure to get it right and not have what we have seen in recent years.”
“But then from what we have seen out there so far the course looks great. They have done a good job getting the course ready as long as they do not go changing it that much.”
“There are a number of different tees they can use this week so it will be up to them to get it right. However, if it was a typical U.S. Open you would just find the fairway and if you made a mistake you would take you penalty.”
“But Erin Hills is not your typical U.S. Open venue.”
McIlroy was out for a fourth day running on Monday playing nine holes with long-time coach, Michael Bannon for company.
Then after the nine McIlroy was joined on the practice putting green by putting coach, Phil Kenyon. It has been a light year for both Bannon and Kenyon with the current World No. 2 ranked McIlroy contesting only his seventh event this week and a first since the ending mid-field at the Players Championship.
However, the newly-wed had lost none of his popularity given the reception he received on the first official day of practice at Erin Hills.
In fact, McIlroy had two Sheriff deputies watching over him as he happily signed close to 100 autographs