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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 198
O AKMONT is to the US Open what the MCG is to cricket and Aussie Rules football: the gold standard. The venerable country club in Pittsburgh hosts its ninth US Open this week and will surely enhance its highly protected reputation for difficulty. The clubs wears it as something of a sadistic badge of honour that it has to be ‘dumbed down’ in preparation for the national championship. The rough is cut a little and the greens slowed for the US Open. Really. The course looked far different at its most recent US Open, when Angel Cabrera snuck past Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk in 2007, than it did when Ernie Els survived in 1994. In the interim 13 years, some 7,000 trees were removed from the property to return the layout to the original look intended by designer Henry C. Fownes. Such a large-scale program was incredible enough but consider this: even more trees have gone since ’07. Another 7,500 are missing, although mostly from the course’s perimeter. Wickedly fast greens, deep rough and windswept, tree-less surroundings. It sounds like a US Open whichever way you look at it. Here are our choices of the five holes to watch this week: PREVIEW
GA Express 197
GA Express 199