The Forecaddie: Bellerive’s greens get up to speed despite heavy rains

Rory McIlroy and his shoes line up a putt in Wednesday's practice. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Bellerive’s greens get up to speed despite heavy rains

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The Forecaddie: Bellerive’s greens get up to speed despite heavy rains

The Forecaddie admires a lot about the work of PGA setup man Kerry Haigh, but never more than when he digs in on his career-long refusal to discuss green speed.

With Bellerive’s heat and stressed greens, The Man Out Front asked Haigh if the .125 mowing height was going to be lowered for the first round, as a locker room notice to players suggested.

“We’ve made adjustments during the week, including today, so we have made specific adjustments, and we’ll continue to monitor it,” the stone-faced assassin of public Stimpmeter readings said. “But we’re very comfortable and love where we’re at today.”

Specifically, The Forecaddie spotted rollers for the first time all week Wednesday, thanks in part to yesterday’s 1.5 inches of rain and cooler temperatures. As dreadful as the rains were for keeping the course firm, the moisture and cooler weather allowed superintendent Carlos Arraya to push the sensitive surfaces.

“The greens are quicker than they were the last two days, and they’re very close to what we are hoping they will be for the four days,” Haigh said. “We love where they’re at. They’re rolling beautifully. And Carlos Arraya and his team, just unbelievable, great job.”

Great job never budging with a Stimpmeter mention, says TMOF.

Haigh did confirm that members had been playing temporary greens anytime the thermometer hovered near 90.

“The members here at Bellerive, as I say, every time the temperature got a certain temperature, they literally gave up their greens and played on temporary greens, and that is a sacrifice not many people know about or think about,” he said.

No it’s not. Here’s hoping for the fine folks of St. Louis that those same members get to enjoy grass on their greens after the PGA leaves town. Given Haigh’s refusal to push things, The Forecaddie is more optimistic than just a few days ago.

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