Weather will be a factor at U.S. Open
BETHESDA, Md. - The 111th U.S. Open was in full swing on Monday morning at Congressional Country Club, with no clear favorite, even though Vegas has installed Luke Donald and Lee Westwood as 10-1 co-favorites.
By 6:45 a.m., under scattered clouds and mostly sunny skies, the range was filling up with names like Justin Rose, Nick Watney, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson - all trying to get their work in under favorable weather conditions.
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Michael Campbell, the 2005 winner at Pinehurst, teed off at 6:49 a.m. In front of Campbell was Fanny Sunesson, walking the course and doing her yardages for the week.
“The golf course is very playable,” said Simpson after his five-hole tour around Congressional on Sunday. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
When you walk around Congressional the lack of deep penetrating rough is noticeable. Unlike recent Opens, when the farther you venture off path the more penal the situation, this year's Open will lack some of that punch.
In watching Campbell play his first four holes, it is clear that the wind, which was at least 15 mph this morning, could be a significant problem. The greens are elevated in many cases and it’s hard to judge the wind.
Another issue which was evident when defending champion Graeme McDowell first visited Congressional in May and after seeing Campbell on Monday, was the difficulty the bunkers will be for many of the players this week.
The bunkers are deep and penal, something that USGA executive director Mike Davis was focusing on and talked about when he was at Congressional for media day.
Don’t expect the weather to get as hot and humid as 1964 when Ken Venturi stumbled through his final round, with a high of 79 degrees expected on Monday, the first practice round of the U.S. Open week will be very pleasant.
Expect temperature to slowly rise over the week with Sunday’s 87 degrees the high for the week. Rain is in the forecast everyday with a 60 percent chance coming on Thursday and Friday.
2011 U.S. Open: Monday coverage
• U.S. Open notebook: Brad Adamonis' father is smiling from above after his son earns a spot in the 2011 U.S. Open. Notes.
• On the Town in Bethesda: How much do you really know about Congressional Country Club? Video.
• Weather will be a factor: Players hit the range early to take advantage of good weather, which might become a problem later in the week. Story.
2011 U.S. Open: Tournament preview
• The full field: Players who have qualified for the 111th U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club. List.
• Tee times and early-round pairings: The USGA announced its early-round pairings late Friday, and the world's top three players - Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer - are in the same group. To top it off, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson will play together. The full listings . . .
• Contender capsules: A capsule look at 20 notable players in the U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Capsules.
• 2011 U.S. Open preview: After playing in the final twosome for four straight years in the 1990s, Tom Lehman's open wounds have healed with time. Story.
• Epic battle of 1931: Five days. Four regulation rounds. Two 36-hole playoffs. 144 holes. 1,179 strokes. George Von Elm and Billy Burke changed the face of the U.S. Open with their epic showdown in 1931.Story.
• Defining victory: 2011 U.S. Open preview: Ken Venturi was nearly broke, his first marriage was collapsing and he was written off by the golf world, but a victory in the 1964 U.S. Open changed all of that. Story.
• Celebrating anniversaries: A look at some of the anniversaries of this year's 111th U.S. Open, to be played June 16-19 at Congressional. Story.
2011 U.S. Open: About Congressional
• Congressional's makeover: After its third closure for reconstructive surgery in the past 21 years, Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course sports a thematically unified parkland look that should hold up well in the face of the capital’s stifling summer heat, just in time for next week’s U.S. Open. Story
• Inside Congressional: 2011 U.S. Open preview: From photos of Congressional's first five honorary presidents to the 36 holes of championship golf, Congressional is packed with something for everyone.Story.
• Congressional, hole-by-hole: A hole-by-hole look at the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club, site of the 111th U.S. Open. The layout.
• Quick facts: Quick facts about the course, the history and the players at the 111th U.S. Open golf championship set to begin on June 16 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Story.
• Photos: A look at Congressional, in pictures. Photos.