U.S. Open golfers give Erin Hills rave reviews

US Open-Erin Hills Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

U.S. Open golfers give Erin Hills rave reviews

PGA Tour

U.S. Open golfers give Erin Hills rave reviews

ERIN, Wis. – Dana Fry beamed as he stood on the range Sunday morning while Hideki Matsuyama and others warmed up for their final rounds at the U.S. Open.

Through three days, Erin Hills had endured the test Fry sought for it when he first got the gig to co-design the course with Michael Hurdzan and Ron Whitten, even if rain and tame winds yielded low scores.

Mike Davis, the United States Golf Association’s executive director, called the course “a wonderful host site.”

“Like you do at any one of these things, if you had to do it over, you’d make a few alterations,” Davis said on the Fox Sports telecast Sunday morning, “but a great start to a golf course that’s only a dozen years old.”

And throughout the week, a number of golfers weighed in on the course — from the top-10 players in the world to amateurs that competed in the event after qualifying. From the time of the opening tee shot to the final putt on Sunday, each relayed a similar message: They really liked Erin Hills, even if it didn’t produce “U.S. Open-like” scores.

Following is some of what the players had to say about Erin Hills as a first-time host of the first U.S. Open held in the state of Wisconsin:

Steve Stricker (73-72-69-69) on Tuesday: “The course is in magnificent shape — probably the best conditioned golf course we may see ever in a major. They closed this course down in September, October, and nobody’s played on it since.”

Adam Scott (72-75) on Tuesday: “Obviously, I’ve seen guys talking about the rough and the hay and this and that, and of course it’s a huge penalty if you miss big this week. But if you play well, which is obviously what this championship is trying to identify, it’s a very, very fine and playable golf course.”

Davis Love IV (71-75) on Wednesday: “The course is beautiful. It’s probably unlike anything I’ve ever played in the states. The greens are perfect — some of the best greens I’ve ever putted on.”

Kevin Na (68-76-73-71) on Thursday: “It’s a great golf course. It’s a good design. I think people — some of the guys — took my social media post (ripping the unplayability of some of the fescue) kind of the wrong way. If you read my post, it says I love the design. I was just trying to show what we have in some spots.”

Lee Westwood (69-75-75-76) on Thursday: “I don’t think (this course) is easy. The players out here now aren’t intimidated by long golf courses, they’re intimidated by tight golf courses.”

Paul Casey (66-71-75-74) on Friday: “It was wonderful to see that there was no — I felt no — knee-jerk reaction to yesterday’s scores. (The course is) incredibly fair. In fact, went through it with Justin Rose this morning, and looking at some of the pins, we thought they were great.”

Rory McIlroy (78-71) after missing the cut on Friday: “The golf course is great, it really is. I’m a big fan of this place. It’s a big, big golf course, with long rough and all that stuff, but it lets you play. It lets you be aggressive, you can get on runs where you can make birdies. Not your typical U.S. Open setup, but I’m a big fan.”

Dustin Johnson (75-73) after missing the cut on Friday: “If you look at the golf course and you even talk to me, Jason (Day) or Rory, this course sets up perfect for us. But as we all know, this game’s all about putting. So it’s pretty simple, I just didn’t get it in the hole fast enough.”

Eddie Pepperell (72-71-69-71) on Saturday: “I think the bunkers are maybe a little penalizing, and I think the course plays extremely well with the prevailing wind. I wouldn’t want to play with the opposite wind because there would be some holes that would be a bit stupid. But I think (the course has) played great. What more can you ask for?”

Jordan Niebrugge (73-72-73-71) on Sunday: “Obviously it’s different than a lot of the U.S. Open venues in the past, but it’s a great test of golf. I think it’s a fair course. You’ve got to drive it well. You’ve got to be able to hit your irons where you want them to be because the greens have a lot of undulations, and you’ve got to putt it well.”

Jordan Spieth (73-71-76-69) on Sunday: “I think it’s an awesome golf course. I think that’s been the consensus from everybody. I’m sure at some point it will come back here. I don’t know, but in my opinion, I would like to see another one here down the road, sure.”

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