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All of the improvements made by Pete Dye to his creation in preparation for the move to May will be helpful this week.
Because a layer of sand was placed under the sod and sub-air was installed throughout the course, the rain of last week -- which, for a day anyway, turned the island green at No. 17 from the isthmus green it really is to a true island -- will be negated.
With no rain in the forecast for the rest of the week, it seems as if tour officials will have the Stadium Course playing at the speed they desire. And that means that attacking the layout will be all about angles. To do that, you need to hit fairways so you can hit greens.
The last three winners here -- Clark, K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar, the defending champ -- are all grinders. They are the kind of grinders who give themselves many opportunities to score and thus multiple opportunities to win.
And that's exactly what Pete Dye had in mind when he designed this course 33 years ago. Bomb and gouge takes a back seat to placement and precision.
That's become the identity of this tournament, and it's very different than the golf we are used to seeing week in, week out on tour, which is what makes this as close to a major as you can get.