there would be valuable information to
take away. “I think we would be remiss if
we didn’t use it a little bit as a trial experience for the 2017 U.S. Open,” he said.
One difference between the events is
their place on the golf calendar, Tock noted.
The Open takes place in June, when the
course might still be soft after a wet spring,
while the Amateur will be played in August,
when it is entirely possible a dry Wisconsin
summer will leave it running hard and fast.
But given Erin Hills’ potential length of
almost 8,000 yards, the USGA will have
options for setting up the course to meet
“We have lots of flexibility,” Tock said.
“We’re able to stretch this (course) to 7,800,
almost 8,000 yards, if we have to. The
USGA likes that kind of flexibility. It’s one
of the things they were looking for out
here at Erin Hills.”
Aside from their inability to cash pay-
checks, though, Tock said the amateurs
are capable of playing golf at almost the
same high caliber as their professional
“The competition is very close. Not all
312 that are going to be here, but the 64
that qualify,” he said. “Obviously, they’re
not tour players (but) they’re probably only
a few strokes away from the tour players.
“This is what they do all day long. They
will show us a lot in the seven days they
are here. And they’ll be voicing their opin-
ions, and we can learn from that.”
Kimball agreed. The tournament coming
to Wisconsin Aug. 22-28, he said, “is the
biggest championship in amateur golf, the
one that everybody wants to win. It’ll be a
great, great test for the amateurs.
“(And) for me,” he said, “it’s a great
chance to see how the golf course plays.”;;
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