One round of golf at a U.S. Open can be like going 18 rounds in the ring, both capable of leaving the unprepared bruised and battered. It will be the longest in U.S. Open history, in fact, at 7,741 yards.
Diaz is next up on the alternate list and has a better-than-average chance of taking the spot that now belongs to Phil Mickelson, who will attend his daughter's high school graduation in California and, barring a weather delay, won't make his 2:20 p.m. tee time Thursday at Erin Hills.
A repeat of the Johnson incident is unlikely this year, and not just because the greens at Erin Hills are nowhere near as fast as Oakmont's putting surfaces.
Asked about the potential for a Scottish victor on Sunday, Knox, who will be in the same group as Laird over the first two days, said: "Well, there's three of us playing so that's obviously good".
RULES OFFICIALS: The U.S. Open wants to be a little quicker with its communications over rules issues, especially in light of previous year at Oakmont.
"These are the widest fairways we've ever played in a US Open", McIlroy said.
"And downwind, if the greens are firm, which it doesn't look like they're going to be, but if it was firm, it leaves an nearly impossible shot if you're outside 120 yards just to hold the green". You have a wide enough area in between to where it's fair and yet tough. "And in a normal year, this place would be ideal for him". His instructions from the USGA are to be ready for the first tee time of the day - 6:45 a.m. - in case an injury, illness or something else unexpected besets one of the other 155 players in the field. That tall, hay-like grass lingering just outside those massive fairways?
"If you're in that stuff, then honestly, you might lose your ball".
Merion, where Rose won in 2013, couldn't be much different than Erin Hills.
Na, a Las Vegas resident and the 2011 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open champion, posted an Instagram video during a practice round at Erin Hills Golf Club in Erin Hills, Wisconsin.
ANDY NORTH, two-time U.S. Open champ and ESPN golf analyst: The fairways are as wide as you've ever had at a U.S. Open. "I think he'd be the man who could be closest to overpowering this course - setting the target for the rest". It's hard, there are a couple of good, hard holes. "Someone who has very good control of the ball off tee will have plenty of scoring opportunities, given the conditions that we're expecting".
"We try to make the course exacting", Davis said.
Woods recently underwent his fourth back surgery and definitely won't be competing. His hay fever is bugging him, too. It's the way I like to play, so it's in my favour.
Day's Australian hiatus had been noticed by former No.1 Greg Norman, who regularly played back home during his career and urged his countryman to do his best to get back. "But it's all worth it if you stand there with the trophy on Sunday".
So, understandably, there is a good bit of curiosity and consternation about an Erin Hills layout that is spectacular in its scope and size, spread out over 652 acres - approximately four times more land than a typical American course - and offering the usual concerns about difficulty.