The rough at Merion has been brutal thus far at the U.S. Open

We all knew that Merion Golf Club has some special ways of punishing golfers. It isn't the length or the water or even the greens, but the rough at this year's U.S. Open is high and nasty and is punishing golfers through the first round of this major championship.

Brandt Snedeker, as you see here, could barely advance his ball out of the rough, and Keegan Bradley hit a shot that basically went backwards during his first round.

Tiger Woods started his bid for a 15th major late on Thursday after a rain delay and found rough so high off the first tee that you couldn't even see his shoes, forcing him to hack a wedge out from rough so dense it caused him to shake his wrist in pain.

While Merion is giving up some good scores, like that beautiful 67 by Phil Mickelson, it is punishing some of the best in the world. Bradley and Bill Haas, a major winner and FedEx Cup champion, respectively, both shot rounds of 77, and names like Louis Oosthuizen, Snedeker and Matt Kuchar are all well over par to start this U.S. Open.

The rain tricked us into thinking that this would be an easy venue for the players, but the rough that the USGA has put in place is making it anything but, and it must just be the perfect setup for a U.S. Open.

What to Read Next