ATLANTA--They might look sick and the grass is thin, but the greens at East Lake Golf Club shouldn't be a problem this week during the Tour Championship, according to Mark Calcavecchia, who played the course Tuesday.
"The greens are 10 times better than what the tour told us they were going to have," said Calcavecchia. "From what I heard, I think that might've been kind of a plan so nobody would be completely in a state of shock when they got here.
"The greens are going to be fine, honestly," he said. "Some of them don't look so good, and there are some bare spots on them, but they putt very nice. They're closer to good than they are bad, let's put it that way."
In an effort to protect the greens for the tournament, the tour canceled Wednesday's Pro-Am and initially told players they wouldn't be able to hit shots to the greens during practice rounds. That changed Monday, when players were told they could use all the greens during Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds except for Nos. 2, 13 and 15. Back portions of the second and 13th greens have been re-sodded.
"I think the greens will be rolling about 9 to 9.5," said PGA Tour rules official Mark Russell. "Last year we probably had them rolling 11 to 12."
Still, Calcavecchia is pleasantly surprised.
"I'll give them a 6, with 5 being average," he said. "I was expecting about a 2. I guarantee all of us have putted on worse greens than these in our lives."