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McIlroy defends Erin Hills layout

McIlroy defends Erin Hills layout

World number two Rory McIlroy says the best players in the world should be able to cope with punitive rough at the US Open this week.

McIlroy, US Open winner in 2011 at Congressional, has leapt to the defence of the Erin Hills layout following news that the USGA will be cutting down some of fescue grass after some players expressed the belief it would become borderline unplayable in the forecast wet conditions.

When informed at his pre-tournament press conference that the fescue was being cut down on the fourth, 12th, 14th and 18th holes, McIlroy suggested anyone hitting the ball so far off target as to be in the longer grass 'might as well pack your bags and go home'.

"Really? We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You've got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home," said McIlroy.

It has been an interrupted season for McIlroy, who has completed just six tournaments owing to a recurring rib problem.

He insists he is ready to go in Wisconsin however and is priced at 12/1 to claim the fifth Major title and the second US Open of his career this week. The Northern Irishman says Erin Hills isn't as tough as some of the US Open venues that have been played recently and that the longer fescue should punish players the same as a hazard would.

"These are the widest fairways we've ever played in a US Open. Even the first and second cut is another ten yards on top of that. 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," he added. "I get that it's thick and whatever, but it's a hazard. If you put red lines just right along that people wouldn't complain, it's a hazard. It's the US Open, it's supposed to be a tough test."

Defending champion and world number one Dustin Johnson is 15/2 to land the US Open while Jason Day is 14/1.





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