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Oak Hill Staff Working On Greens
Tiger Woods’ comments on Wednesday about the greens at Oak Hill Country Club, the site of next week’s PGA Championship, had Jeff Corcoran’s phone ‘blowing up’ within hours of him speaking to the press.
Corcoran is the superintendent for the club that is hosting one of the biggest tournaments in the world, and he is fully aware of the challenge such an honour brings, especially trying to get the greens to the level expected at a major championship.
"This is the toughest summer I've ever had," said Corcoran, in his 10th year at the prestigious club, which has hosted numerous major championships.
Tiger’s words seem to have stung a little, with the world number one saying the greens were “spotty” and slow. "They don't have much thatch to them, so it'll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and how much they're able to speed them up with kind of a lack of grass," he said.
Woods also speculated that the club was saving the greens for the PGA Championship.
"In regards to Tiger's latter comments, he hit it right on the head. We were trying to give the greens a rest before we head into a very stressful week," Corcoran said. "When he was here [Tuesday], we were playing defense. We didn't mow that day, didn't roll [the greens] that day. We've had an extremely tough summer.
"You don't tell a marathon runner to go out and run a marathon just before you run a marathon, especially when you know you've had a stressful summer. We'll have the green speeds up; they'll roll fine. The only area that will affect playability is the front right of the eighth green on the East Course."
The greens at Oak Hill is a form of bent grass that’s quite common in the Midwest and northern climates. But as Corcoran said, "Extreme heat and wet soil conditions is trouble." He also added that the plan is to double-cut and roll the greens during the weekend and work to get them up to major championship speeds. He stated that, aside from that one portion of the eighth green, most players and spectators will not notice a difference and that the game will play as smoothly as ever.