Surprisingly enough, in the past 31 years, only two U.S. Opens conducted by the PGA Tour has had a winner finish over par. One of those was at Winged Foot in 2006. The other? Oakmont, a course known to be so tough that rumor has it they actually slow the greens down for major championships because they are scared some golfers would never finish.
That is the challenge the LPGA will face this week at the Women's U.S. Open, befalling Oakmont Country Club for the second time in the history of this event. The last time it was hosted here, in 1992, Patty Sheehan was winning her first of two U.S. Open titles, with a score of four-under par. That should change with some of the things Oakmont has done to the golf course.
So what should the LPGA expect from an event hosted at such a tough course? Well, it won't look much like 1992. Recent renovations of the golf course has seen more than 400 trees removed, making the golf course full of nasty bunkers and tough greens even that much more susceptible to the wind.
Along with that, these women will be facing the longest par-3 and longest par-5 in the history of the LPGA. The first will be on the par-3 eighth, a nasty 252 yards, which, depending on the wind, will see a lot of players in the field hitting driver. The par-5 12th will play 602 yards, making even long male golfers cringe at a number like that.
Cristie Kerr, who recently took over the number one spot in the Rolex Rankings, called Oakmont, "one of the toughest courses I've ever seen."
Expect a lot of those types of quotes to be tossed around this week.