Yesterday the greens, today the rough

June 18, 2010

PEBBLE BEACH -- Tiger Woods famously led the chorus of boos Thursday over the small bumpy putting greens at Pebble Beach.

Even if a  repeat of that doesn't happen Friday, players might turn their attention the rough.

Tucked into today's report on course setup is the news that the USGA decided to not mow the rough after Thursday's play because the cold air has retarded growth of the fescue. Furthermore, because temperatures aren't expected to exceed 60 degrees the remainder of the championship, the mowers might not be turned on the rough until Monday -- or Tuesday if a playoff is in order.

Cutting the grass has two beneficial effects for players. One, obviously, is that the grass is shorter. Second is that the mowed grass lays down in the direction its been cut, making shots out of thick grass easier if going in the same direction. No mowing means the grass is longer and standing more upright. This makes lies in the rough more inconsistent. The USGA likes that, Mike Davis said.

The USGA must buy earplugs by the truckload.

-- *Dave Shedloski