Saturday's third round of the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club saw not only a record breaking performance (yet again) by tournament leader Rory McIlroy, but a record setting performance by his contemporaries in the field. 26 subpar rounds were carded in the third round, breaking the record of 24 set in 1990 at Medinah. The multitude of low scores, not just on Saturday but throughout the entire tournament, has the USGA defending the selection of Congressional for this year's Open. Via Joseph White, sports writer for the Associated Press:
"I don't think we're going to try to trick Mother Nature," said Tom O'Toole, chairman of the USGA's championship committee. "This is what we've got in 2011. You come to the U.S. Open in the District of Columbia or Maryland in June, that's the dice you roll. That's what we got with a soft golf course. It's not coastal California. It's not Long Island, Shinnecock, where the course is built on sand. It's a heavy soil golf course."
OK, so if you weren't listening, this is not the course's fault. Blame Mother Nature. And don't ask again. Or else you'll get this response:
"It's our position that the golf course was more forgiving this week because of the weather that we experienced," O'Toole said. "Not because Congressional is not a worthy golf course for the U.S. Open. It's a big, long, difficult golf course. These players caught it on a week when it's very soft."
Well, Mr. O'Toole, get ready for weather to cause yet one final kink in your plans. Rain is expected sometime Sunday afternoon, meaning the 111th edition of the United States Open may not be completed until Monday. Mother Nature, wreaking havoc on Father's Day. Go figure.