BETHESDA, Md. -- As if the U.S. Open isn’t daunting enough, doesn’t cause enough throat constriction, each of the 156 players in the field this week will start one of their first two rounds with a downright frightening tee shot.
Using split tees, the 10th hole at Congressional Country Club is a 220-yard par-3 with a forced carry over a lake. Imagine facing t hat as your opening shot at, say, 8 a.m. in the first round.
That's exactly what the top three players in the world were presented with on Thursday, when Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer teed off at 8:06 a.m. ET.
The hole, playing 199 yards in the first round, has already taken a significant toll. In five of the first six groups to play the hole, at least one player dunked a ball in the water. The group that played it immediately before the top-three trio rinsed two balls, with Anthony Kim and Ryo Ishikawa making double-bogeys to star their week.
Guess that's why Congressional named it the Blue Course?
Players were actively bag-hawking one another on the tee, trying to pick the best iron to hit, because landing short was clearly not an option.
"It was a 4-, 5- or 6-iron, depending on the player," Westwood said as he walked toward the green. "I think we each hit different clubs."
Donald and Kaymer both birdied the hole to immediately pick up a shot on the field, easily.
Despite the carnage, they were running pretty close to on time. The Donald threesome teed off three minutes behind its scheduled time.