An Aussie fond of cheeseheads: Jason Day all in on Wisconsin

Spieth also sees some differences between the two layouts.

This is the second straight time that a major championship has come to Wisconsin and McIlroy, the No. 2 player in the world, is coming off an injury.

Knox, one of three Scots in the field - alongside Martin Laird and Richie Ramsay - is unfazed by controversy over the heavy rough on the course.

"It looks kind of linksy style, a little linksy. So if you've got 50 or 60 yards to hit into and you're complaining about the fescue that's wider than that, I don't think that's an issue".

And Spieth, who won the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay two years ago after some final-hole drama, believes the course set-up paves the way for another dramatic denouement.

And now that he's here, Stricker, 50, is equally determined to make the most of what figures to be one of his last opportunities to compete in a major tournament. "The ball is in their court". "Because, yeah, I'm starting to get a lot more confidence over the last two events I've played compared to the first nine events that I played. They'll vary the tees and where the pins are; they should have fun setting up the course".

An American has hoisted the trophy the last two years and a strong global field will be determined to prevent a US hat-trick of titles.

"It's a very long golf course, big greens".

So far, the players who have been there seem to like the course, but of course none of them have yet to hit a shot in competition.

Although the organisers have cut back some of the extreme rough that was surrounding the Erin Hills course, the forecast - especially for the final three days - looks set to make it hard for the field. "Looking forward to defending next week".

He continued, "These are the widest fairways we've ever played in a U.S. Open". "You're probably going to play well anywhere when the game is on form". Dustin Johnson hits a drive on the 12th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament Wednesday, June 14, 2017, at Erin Hills in Erin, Wis.

"These greens are so good".

"If you're in that stuff, then honestly, you might lose your ball". The person that wins at the end of the week they want everything firing right at the right time.

Factor in fairways bordered by the much-debated deep fescue, and it appears likely that the tournament will live up to its billing as the toughest test in golf.

Erin Hills does not look as though it will yield many birdies.

When players don't have a reasonable explanation, that can mean only one thing - it's a cycle more than a trend.

The long, undulating Wisconsin course will certainly test the players' physically, but Spieth said that the course presents an equally, if not tougher, mental challenge.

"There's a little bit of the unknown, of course, first time here at Erin Hills, but a lot has been made about the rough, which is incredibly long, but there's a huge space in between that long rough that we get to hit it", Scott said.

The USGA's Davis had called it, "Shinnecock Hills on steroids".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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