World No.1 Jason Day thinks anyone complaining about course conditions for this week’s US Open may as well not play.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth believes winning the US Open at Oakmont means “conquering the hardest test in all of golf,” while six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson simply labelled the course “the hardest we’ve ever played”.
Numerous players posted pictures and video on social media during practice rounds showing their concern at the thick rough and fast, sloping greens at a venue where five over par was the winning total in 2007.
However, Day believes a positive mental attitude is essential.
“I’ve always said you have to come in to major championships and your attitude has to be on point,” said Day, who won his maiden major title in the US PGA Championship last year. “You have to have a good attitude regardless of what the situation is.
“You saw it last year at Chambers Bay with a lot of the professionals complaining about the greens. That just doesn’t help. This year, we’ve got tough rough. The greens are tough. Practically the whole course is tough. You’ve just got to go with it and try and play your best and hope for the best sometimes – attitude is huge.
“I think when you’re in stressful situations like you are at US Opens, where this is usually the toughest course we play every single year, you have to come in with a positive attitude regardless of what the outcome is. If you’re going to have a bad attitude, you may as well not even tee it up that week because you probably won’t play good anyway.”
Day has played just five US Opens but has finished second twice and was fourth in 2014 and ninth last year, despite suffering from attacks of vertigo at Chambers Bay. He believes a conservative approach will pay dividends this week rather than utilising his length off the tee to attempt to “overpower” the course.
“There are some holes out there that you can hit driver and go after, but the rough is so thick, it’s just a premium on hitting fairways this week,” Day added.
“I think if you can dial it back a little bit, give yourself opportunities on the fairways, you’re definitely at an advantage hitting a seven iron [from the fairway] rather than a wedge out of the rough this week. For the most part, it’s a bomber’s game, our generation. It’s not like that this week.”