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phan52

Merion

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I played Merion yesterday on a sparkling, clear day. Unfortunately the wind was brutal from the start, but it was a great experience. I got on a bogey train right from the start (their range is still not open; if I knew that I would have hit balls at my club before going over), and had a few 3-putts on the fastest, most diabolical greens I played all year. I didn't make my first par until 7, when I ran off four in a row through 10. I butchered the short 11th after hitting my best drive of the day, bad drive on 12 led to double bogey, parred 13 (Phil couldn't) and 14 (second shot was my best approach of the day). I hit one OB on 15 (toughest shot on the course, IMO; no discernable place to hit the drive) for triple, hit one in the quarry on 16 for another triple. Parred 17 (made me very happy, as that is where I marshalled for the Open), and doubled 18. The caddies were fabulous and really added to the experience. They really know the greens and the course overall as well as any caddies I've had anywhere.

44-47-91

To some who asked, I never would have broken 100 on the Open setup. I couldn't have played the length, and the rough wasn't as tough yesterday. I think it would have been impossible for the greens to have been any faster for the Open and I think I handled the greens pretty well, only three 3-putts. I didn't have the nerve to pull out the camera-phone until the back nine.

11 green from about 90 yards, where I hit my drive and then shanked it into the hazard right of the green.

13, where Phil pretty much lost the Open. Routine par for me.

My best shot of the day, into 14.

16, where I dumped one into the quarry and then 3-putted for triple bogey. Had to make a 5-footer for that.

16 looking back from the green.

17 green. Hole played 215 yards and I made about a 7-footer for par.

Iconic 18th hole, standing at the Hogan plaque.

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One of my playing partners just sent me this picture. It is me, shortsided in a greenside bunker on #4 with the ball about a foot below my feet. This led to one of my three-putts, leading to a double bogey, as the closest I could get the ball to the pin was about 35 feet away.

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Awesome pics. As stated in our PM's I wonder what you would have shot under exact open conditions from tees that they played and green speed. Is 130 about right?   Hope I get to play there some day

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Awesome pics. As stated in our PM's I wonder what you would have shot under exact open conditions from tees that they played and green speed. Is 130 about right?   Hope I get to play there some day

I probably would not have broken 100, but I would have been a hell of a lot closer to 100 than 130. The green speeds were no different than they were for the Open (the members and caddies will tell you that they are faster now), the only real differnce would have been the length. The rough was pretty nasty and I had to play numerous shots back into the fairway and take my medicine anyway. I had my best scores in the middle of the round (7-13) and they are holes where the length was really no different from the Open setup, except for the par 3 9th.

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