Day TK at US Senior Open: Home Sweet Sahalee
By Stephanie Wei under US Senior Open

“The firmness of the greens is probably as hard as I’ve seen a green in America in a long time,” Tom Watson said. “They’re very, very firm. And as a result the greens are not real big in depth.”

For those unfamiliar with the Northwest, it may be shocking to hear that there’s been little rain recently. Seriously! Best kept secret: Summers in Seattle — I contend there’s no better place in the continental US to be in August.

Here are Round 1 set-up notes, courtesy of the USGA:

Green speeds will measure approximately 12.5 feet on the Stimpmeter. All greens were single cut this morning, after which Stimpmeter readings were taken. A second cut or a roll was applied to several greens to achieve the prescribed green speed. All greens were single cut Wednesday evening.

All rough inside the ropes was cut Wednesday evening.

Hand watering was done last evening as well as this morning to all putting greens that required such to ensure consistent firmness as well as to address a few “hot spots.”

The following tees are being used on the holes with multiple teeing grounds: Hole 6 (475 yards) and Hole 18 (465 yards).

Lengths of par 3s

Hole 5 – 174 yards
Hole 9 – 206 yards
Hole 13 – 181 yards
Hole 17 – 210 yards

The greens are already super fast when conditions are soft, so I’m interested in seeing how they hold up this afternoon. Speaking of which, I better run, but first, a quick early leaderboard check — it’s a good one!

Loren Roberts has taken the early lead at three-under through 14. Trailing by a stroke are Bruce Vaughan, Tim Jackson (a), Joe Ozaki (Jumbo’s bro) and good ol’ Tom Watson, who all have more holes to play. Hometown favorite Fred Couples is making a run on his second nine (he started on 10), posting three straight birdies to get back to even through 15. Go Freddie!

Alright, see you out there! And yes, I’m chipper today — it’s something about major championships even if it’s a bunch of geezers (but still handsome and solid players, at least some of them) playing.

[Photo by John Mummert/USGA]