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2022 U.S. Open: Top golfers analyze challenging course at The Country Club

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BROOKLINE, Mass. -- The U.S. Open is back at The Country Club in Brookline for the first time in 34 years, and the course at this historic venue will present many challenges to all of the golfers.

This tournament is famous for its narrow fairways, thick rough and challenging greens. This course is no exception. These 18 holes are going to be a great test of accuracy and patience.

Here's a roundup of what several notable golfers competing this week had to say about the course at The Country Club.

Phil Mickelson

"The course is in pristine shape. It's a remarkable golf course. A number of tees have been lengthened since (The Ryder Cup in) '99 since I remember, but it seems like it plays the same. It was just very well done, and I think we're all excited for the test that this golf course provides. It looks to be -- that it's going to be a brutal test of golf, and that's what this championship is all about."

Justin Thomas

"It's a great course. I came on Monday last week, and it worked out well very similar to the PGA where I was able to go kind of on the way to the venue for that week. Just wanted to come play because the practice rounds for the majors can be a little long. A lot of guys haven't seen this place before so feel the need to play 18 holes and check it out. I just didn't really want to have a six-hour practice round, so it worked out well to come check it out.

 

"It's a cool place. It's very in front of you. It's old school. You've got doglegs. I haven't been on the course since I was here Monday, but I'm sure it's going to be long rough and firm and fast greens."

Scottie Scheffler

"The golf course is in good shape. I was here in 2013 and the course has changed a bit since then. I think they're mostly good changes. Should be a good test. The greens are nice and firm. It seems like the weather is going to be good for the rest of the week. The rough is healthy, per usual."

Which holes should fans watch from?

"There are so many good holes out here. I would post up on No. 8, No. 10 and No. 11 out there by the green and watch shots go into No. 11 and see shots coming into No. 10. See some carnage on No. 10 and a few lower scores on No. 11."

2022 U.S. Open Hole-by-Hole at The Country Club: 10th Hole

Rory McIlroy

"I liked it. I liked what I saw. I played here a couple of years ago. I guess I played all the holes that are going to be played this week, but in a different setup or different routing, I guess. Sort of had to jog my memory a little bit and try to remember, but yeah, great setup.

"It seems pretty playable off the tee. There's some rough, but if you just miss a fairway, you can certainly get it to the green. You're going to lose control of your ball and not be able to spin it into the greens, but at least on the front nine there's a lot of greens that have very manicured run-ups, so the greens probably play a little longer than they actually are.

"Maybe not quite as much as like a Winged Foot, where I think you're going to have to be a little bit more strategic than we were there, but overall, great setup. That front nine has two short par-4s. It's got a very reachable par-5. The two par-3s are pretty tough. A couple of longer par-4s."

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Jon Rahm

"I played the front nine yesterday. I think it's a wonderful course. I like to think of myself as a bit of a historian of the game, and to come to a place like this where the whole Francis Ouimet world happened, it's very unique. Very unique.

Rahm gives heartfelt explanation for why he prefers PGA Tour over LIV Golf

"I love to hear the stories and the nuances about the golf course like this. Especially the clubhouse. Clubhouse like this, right? I've never gone to a golf course where there's a town before you see the course. It's very unique. Really looking forward to seeing the back nine.

"It's a beautiful design. I always love coming to places and courses that were designed so long ago because even though they add tee boxes, the uniqueness of the architecture from back then still stands. I think a big testament of what I saw are the 3rd and 4th hole where it's one long fairway connected but you have the rocks in between. It's very, very cool. I'm looking forward to see the rest of the course."

 
2022 U.S. Open Hole-by-Hole at The Country Club: 4th Hole

More Rahm...

"I knew it coming in, but it's not the biggest greens out there, right? And the ones that have a healthy size don't play like it, like the par-3 6th. It's a bigger green, but quite a bit of slopes. You can easily end up off of it even though on paper it is big. I think that's the biggest challenge.

"I wouldn't say they're the narrowest fairways we've played on a U.S. Open, but second shots into the green are going to be important. The rough around the greens is about as healthy as I've seen in a while, so certainly is going to be obviously key in a U.S. Open, but especially with smaller greens you're going to need to use it quite a bit."

Cameron Smith

"I love it, mate. It's probably my favorite U.S. Open venue I think I've been to. Lots of options off the tee. Have to strike the ball well, obviously. Yeah, just a real typical old-school course. I love it."

Brooks Koepka

"You know it's going to be tough. I like that. I like scores that are somewhat around even par. It's going to be difficult. You have to drive the ball well. Rough is pretty tough, and it's only going to get tougher because I'm sure they won't cut it.

"Golf course is good. It's kind of weird; got a couple of blind shots, but other than that, it's a great golf course, fun golf course to play. So should be a good week."

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