Jon Rahm didn’t have a restful few days after his dramatic victory at the BMW Championship.
He spent Tuesday getting a look at Winged Foot.
Rather than fly home to Phoenix for a night, Rahm visited the upcoming U.S. Open venue in New York before heading to Atlanta for this week’s Tour Championship. With his wife Kelley as his caddie, the world No. 2 played Winged Foot “so when I go into the U.S. Open, it’s not all brand new.”
Several players have gotten a sneak peek in recent weeks, including Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas. Thomas said Winged Foot is “really hard” but that he “absolutely loved it. It’s one of my favorite, if not my favorite courses I’ve ever played.”
Rahm wasn’t quite that effusive in his praise, but he expects Winged Foot to offer a stern test for the players, just as it did in 2006, when the winning score was 5 over par.
“All I can say is it’s a heck of a golf course,” Rahm said Wednesday at the Tour Championship, where he enters the second finale as the No. 2 overall seed, two shots behind Dustin Johnson. “The greens gave me an Oakmont vibe: extremely difficult, extremely undulated. Sixteen of the 18 greens are sloped back to front. There’s always a run-up on the front. At least it seems a little more fair than Oakmont might look.
“It’s just a difficult course. It’s long. It’s narrow. It’s undulated. You just need to play really good golf.
“If it gets firm like some of the USGA guys told me they want it to be, I don’t see how any of us shoot under par. Or if we shoot under par, it would be somebody winning by a lot.”
The winning score at the U.S. Open has been over par only once in the past six years, when Brooks Koepka shot 1 over at Shinnecock in 2018. Winged Foot (5 over) and Oakmont (5 over) have produced the highest winning scores since 1974.