Grounds crew ready for rain

DAVE FULLER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

If it rains at St. George's this week, course superintendent Keith Bartlett won't yell "Bring it on!"

But if it's possible to inoculate a golf venue from the elements, Bartlett and his crew of 70 are fairly confident that they have.

"About three weeks ago we had a two-inch thunderstorm go through here," Bartlett said Tuesday. "And the course performed exactly how we had hoped it would.

"There's one bunker we have to pump just by design and we know where the other small pockets are. So we will be well-prepared."

St. George's will play just under 7,100 yards. The rough is four inches high and the green speed will be set at 11 on the stimp meter.

The PGA has already given St. George's the thumbs up, so have most players here.

"The feedback the officials are getting is that the players don't get to play traditional golf courses like this a lot. So they really get to enjoy it," Bartlett said.

Canadian Matt Hill described St. George's as "awesome" following his Tuesday practice round.

"The rough is pretty tough this week," he said. "You've definitely got to hit fairways. You really don't want to be short-siding yourself and be long on the green. You really want to stay below the holes. The greens are pretty sloped from back to front. And I think that's going to be pretty important -- just trying to control the speed on a lot of the greens. A few of them -- you can't even keep it on even if you pretty much tap it."

While challenging, Bartlett says his crew "has done a lot of work to make sure the ball rolls true."

"I think it's a shot-maker's golf course," he continued. "I think you have to position your ball well off the tee, you have to hit the greens and be on the right side of the hole. The rough is very fair and I think it will be a good test."


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