Van Sickle: It was no different in the '70s when the USGA grew the rough so deep that it took driver out of the players' hands.
Bamberger: This Open could be the watershed moment when we observe that the pros play a different game. Even for top amateurs Merion is plenty tough. If we want the Open to keep going back to courses like Merion, and we want the pro game to resemble our game, we need to be governed by a different set of rules.
Anonymous Pro: This will be the last time they go to Merion. The pro game has outgrown the course, and that's going to be obvious.
The Drive For 15
WILL TIGER WOODS CONTINUE HIS WINNING WAYS AT MERION?
Shipnuck: This is the right course at the right time for Tiger. He's playing a new brand of small ball. He won the Players hitting 290-yard five-woods off the tee. That's perfect for Merion. If he were going to Bethpage Black, I'd be less confident. I don't care that he struggled in the wind at the Memorial. It's the U.S. Freaking Open—he'll be ready to play.
Van Sickle: Are you saying Tiger is just dinking it out there?
Shipnuck: No, I'm just saying driver is still the weakest club in his bag. He can hit five-woods and three-irons off every tee at Merion. Who's going to outplay him from 200 yards in? Nobody.
Anonymous Pro: Just like he did at Hoylake. Tiger has been impressive this year. It's funny how he's gone from having an advantage on the biggest, longest courses to having an edge on the smallest layouts, where it's more like a game of chess.
Bamberger: Tiger owns pretty much everything and everybody except for his outsized desire. He used to have that desire so deep on the back burner that the big picture of getting to 18 or 19 majors didn't interfere. Now I wonder if it does interfere. It's asking too much. For the first 11 years all he had to do was play great golf. Now there seems to be another layer of interference.