Lunch time just ended for the grounds maintenance crew at Merion Golf Club. No doubt they worked up an appetite.
Yet when a reporter asked director of golf course maintenance Matt Shaffer if he thinks the East Course will play soft come championship time, Shaffer shook his head no.
"I beg to differ," Shaffer said. "Even if the greens are receptive, put 30,000 people out there, and fairways that are super narrow will get like a little ribbon."
Shaffer's crew has been pumping water out of bunkers, raking them and squeegeying in a multitude of areas. USGA Executive Director Mike Davis, doing a TV interview on the 18th green a little while ago (pictured here), told the Golf Channel, "credit the maintenance staff."
Now that's a nice little shout out.
The issue now, even though golfers finally got to begin their practice rounds about two hours ago, is that more rain is expected throughout the day. And, yes, later in the week, too.
Major champion Ernie Els may beg to differ with Shaffer on what actually will happen later this week.
"You're not going to see a firm U.S. Open this year. I'm sorry," Els says. "I dont care if they get helicopters flying over the fairways; it's not going to dry up."