Really? - McIlroy stunned to hear of U.S. Open felling the fescue at Erin Hills


Rory McIlroy was quick to dismiss any concerns over the condition of the rough at this year's U.S. Open and was surprised by plans to chop back the greenery.

On Monday, Kevin Na posted a video on Instagram airing his complaints over the "unplayable" fescue that could punish any wayward shots down either side of the fairway.

Organisers at the Erin Hills course took action on Tuesday, chopping back some of the rough in a move that world number two and 2011 U.S. Open champion McIlroy felt was unnecessary.

"Really?" was his response when he was informed about the felling of the fescue.

"We have 60 yards from left line to right line. You've got 156 of the best players in the world here, if we can't hit it within that avenue, you might as well pack your bags and go home.

"These are the widest fairways we've ever played in a U.S. Open. Even the first and second cut is another 10 yards on top of that.

"So if you've got 50 or 60 yards to hit into and you're complaining about the fescue that's wider than that, I don't think that's an issue.

"I get that it's thick and whatever, but it's a hazard. If you put red lines just right along that people wouldn't complain, it's a hazard. It's a U.S. Open, it's supposed to be a tough test.

"And if guys can't put it into play within a 50-yard zone I don't think they've got much to complain about."

McIlroy has been struggling with a rib injury of late, but the Northern Irishman insisted he is feeling no ill effects heading into Thursday's first round, as long as he manages his practice time sensibly.

"I'm feeling better. Obviously I've had a few weeks off to try and rest this injury that I've had all year, but I feel good," he said.

"I feel really good, as long as I manage the load that I put through in terms of practice and hitting a lot of balls. But I'm totally fine to play. I don't feel it at all.

"It's just a matter of managing that sort of practice load, which isn't a bad thing. It means I can go out and play."