I’ll save my critique of USGA setups for a little later in the week — I know, the suspense! — but suffice at this point to say, Merion is fulfilling its brief admirably. Mike Davis and his cult of par-worshippers couldn’t have asked for more. Bogeys are far more plentiful than birdies; players are beginning to eye shots with that slightly haunted, nervous look; and with every hour the course stays dry, scores tick steadily skywards. There will be no 62s this week.
Mission accomplished, you might think. But the consensus among media types and players alike is that Merion may well struggle to host another major championship. [Ed. note: Though the word in the member’s pavilion is that the USGA is *begging* the club to return and in fact has already asked.]