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The Memorial’s weather delay forces daunting physical test for players

DUBLIN, Ohio – A sport that’s extensively thought of extra of a psychological grind than a physical test has reached the blue-collar portion of the season.

After 31 holes within the warmth and humidity on the Memorial on Friday, Branden Grace was completed. “They say Monday is the longest day of golf but try to play 31 holes around this place, that’s going to beat you up,” he stated.

Grace is signed as much as play Monday’s closing qualifying for the U.S. Open at his dwelling membership in South Florida, a 36-hole marathon that’s extensively thought of the sport’s final grind, however Friday was hardly a stroll in Jack Nicklaus’ lush park.

Because of storms that began and stopped and began and stopped play on the primary day, greater than half the sphere failed to finish the primary spherical forcing Friday’s additional time.

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Moments after Grace had accomplished his spherical, Joel Dahmen slumped in opposition to a wall after a second-round 73 that would have been so a lot better if not for a set of late miscues. He wasn’t making excuses, however 33 holes in day is a haul.

“I’m not in great shape,” Dahmen smiled. “Facts are facts. I don’t know if I can go 33 [holes] and then go 36 [on Monday] a couple of days later. I don’t have great cardio. I laughed in the scoring area and asked Louis [Oosthuizen], ‘Is this why guys workout on Tour?’ It must be.”

Dahmen can also be scheduled to play Monday’s U.S. Open qualifier right here in Columbus, Ohio, which solely provides to what has already been a protracted week.

Thanks to excellent weather on Friday officers at Muirfield Village will likely be again on schedule for the third spherical however that was little solace for those that have endured two moist days of golf-ball-grabbing tough and steep hills.

“I’m pretty tired. I woke up at 4:30 this morning and started my warm-up and played 33 and this golf course is one of the harder walks,” stated Patrick Cantlay, who pulled away from the sphere with a second-round 67 for an 8-under whole.

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Beyond the price of enjoying 33 holes players additionally must cope with that tough that makes any shot that’s off-line an journey. Following the primary spherical Rory McIlroy recommended the tough was boarder line unfair, however that’s nothing new at Jack’s Place.

“It’s really brutal and it’s wet. The fairways are generous enough but if you don’t hit them, the first hole is one of the hardest fairways to hit,” Dahmen stated. “The par 5s if you hit it in the rough you can get it back into play but then you have, I had a 5-iron today into No. 7. I hit driver and could only chop it out 100 yards.”

Although that may sound like a grievance, the reality is the Memorial has lengthy been thought of one of many PGA Tour’s most demanding checks and a dramatic overhaul of the course following final yr’s event hasn’t softened any of its edges, though Nicklaus stated earlier this week he thought the course would play a couple of stroke simpler.

So far Nicklaus’ prediction is sort of excellent. Last yr the scoring common was 74 strokes and thru 1 ¾ rounds this week the common is 72.92.

But that most likely doesn’t encourage any of the players who awoke of 4 a.m. for a marathon Friday or all those that have been unfortunate sufficient to seek out the tough this week.

“When I’ve been in the rough I’ve had a few of them where you know you just take it on the chin and advance it 100 yards forward, try and save a par or something from there, but it is thick,” Grace stated.

Although the physical grind may be very actual it’s the psychological toll that’s essentially the most difficult for players. Cantlay stated he spent Friday making an attempt to not fall “asleep” on the course.

“We’re out there for such a long time today that you could fall asleep at the wheel a little bit,” Cantlay stated. “Just being cognizant of that and checking in with yourself, are you as focused as you can be, when you need to be, I think is key.”

With Monday’s U.S. Open qualifier looming for many it’s just the start {of professional} golf’s most grueling stretch.

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