The heat is on

July 07, 2010

OAKMONT, Pa. -- The temperatures at Oakmont have hit the mid-90s for three straight days, and the forecast suggests that the heat won't let up until Saturday. That only means one thing: the already-slick Poa annua greens are getting drier and faster.

"Every championship course is better when it's dry because you have to figure out what's going to happen when the ball actually lands and it's going to move on you," said Mike Davis, the senior director of rules and competitions at the USGA. "When Oakmont's dry, it's as good as any golf course as far as what the USGA is trying to do for a test of golf...I really feel we're positioned to have just a great, great test of golf the next four days."

The groundsmen are working hard right now, ensuring the greens don't dry up too quickly. I captured two of them watering down the practice green (see video, below), and I overheard one of the men receiving word via his two-way radio that the greens are "under tremendous heat stress."

Apparently, Davis wouldn't have it any other way: "It's so good right now, if we can just keep it dry and let us supply the water versus mother nature, it will make for an exciting championship."

--Ashley Mayo