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Woods gears up for ‘war of attrition’ ahead of the US Open
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Many players are not happy with the condition of the courses this year at Pinehurst

The US Open at Pinehurst Number Two course is shaping up to be another intense and grueling challenge, with Tiger Woods predicting a “war of attrition” reminiscent of past tournaments held at the North Carolina resort. Historically, only four players have finished under par in the three previous US Opens at Pinehurst, highlighting the course’s notorious difficulty.

This year’s competition, the 124th staging of the US Open, is expected to be equally demanding, with the speed and treachery of the ‘upturned saucer’ greens being a major focus. Defending champion Wyndham Clark mentioned that the greens were already “borderline” in terms of speed, indicating they could become almost unplayable if conditions worsen. Woods himself noted that many players, including him, had experienced balls rolling off the greens during practice.

Woods commented on the potential severity of the course setup, suggesting it could lead to players struggling to keep their balls on the greens, reminiscent of the challenging conditions in the 2005 US Open. The United States Golf Association (USGA), responsible for setting up the course, is under pressure to avoid a repeat of past controversies, such as those at Shinnecock Hills in 2004 and 2018. In those instances, the USGA was criticized for letting the course conditions become excessively difficult, particularly when high temperatures dried out the greens, making them almost unplayable.

With temperatures forecasted to exceed 30C this week, the USGA will need to carefully manage the course conditions to ensure a fair but challenging test for the players. Woods’ remarks reflect the anticipation of another tough battle at Pinehurst, where precision and resilience will be crucial for those aiming to contend for the title.