RIDEAU VIEW GOLF CLUB - OTTAWA'S PREMIER PRIVATE GOLF EXPERIENCE.
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Rideau View Golf Club member Brad Fritsch isn't making a big deal about the greens at the Chambers Bay Golf Course.
That's probably one of the reasons why he survived the cut and made it to the weekend for the first time in a major (this is his second; he also played in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot).
You have to believe the players who let the condition of the greens at the 115th U.S. Open become a fixation are being hard-pressed to play their best.
"Worst rolling greens I've ever putted on. Nothing comes anything close to this week. My only complaint about the course," tweeted FedExCup champ Billy Horschel after Saturday's round.
"It's pretty much like putting on broccoli," was the way Henrik Stenson put it.
World number on Rory McIlroy also dipped into his grocery bag and compared them to cauliflower.
Fritsch shrugged off the conditions. That's probably the best way to go. If you accept there are going to be bad bounces (real or imagined) the chances of letting them interfere with your performance is reduced.
"I'm not one to come and make a big stink. They're not the best ever. They rolled a lot better today, probably because of fewer players/less traffic. They look terrible. They roll 'ok,'" said Fritsch in a text after Saturday's round.
"For a U.S. Open? It's surprising."
Fritsch had a 2-over par 72 on Saturday to sit in a tie for 39th at 6-over par after three trips over Chambers Bay.
The greens have been the story of the tournament.
Some background: Chambers Bay features "fine fescue," a mix of red fescue, hard fescue and Chewings fescue. It's a thin, round-bladed grass. It was chosen for Chambers Bay because of the climate. It's a drought tolerant grass and grows well in the sandy soil of that site.
It doesn't recover quickly from foot traffic and that's one of the reasons Chambers Bay has such large greens (the biggest upon which the U.S. Open has been played at an average of about 8,000 square feet), so there are many pin positions to allow the greens to recover.
There's some bentgrass mixed in there to give the putting surfaces a little more durability and, of course, poa annua has crept in like it does everywhere.
Fescue gets firmer (and faster) as it loses moisture as the day goes on while the poa produces seed heads which can be bumpy. Is it enough to influence a putt? We're talking fractions of millimetres here.
The mix of grasses produces a range of colours on the greens which makes them look inconsistent.
But like Fritsch said, they roll okay.
In the minds of some players, the condition of the playing surface is the reason they missed a putt, so it's an issue for them.
It's another bump to overcome to win a major.