MEDINAH, Ill. -- A couple of changes to Medinah Country Club's No. 3 course could help the American cause in the 39th Ryder Cup.
U.S. captain Davis Love III invoked his right to change the setup of the course by having some rough trimmed to make the par-5 10th hole easier. Bubba Watson in particular kept finding the rough after carrying a sand trap 290 yards from the tee box, making his second shot more difficult.
In addition, Medinah director of golf Mike Scully said a tree was removed Wednesday that would make the tee shot easier on a hole, but he would not specify which hole. Having trees removed is not within Love's rights as captain, and Scully would not say why the tree needed to be taken down.
Medinah has lost several hundred trees during the past year. In fact, the tree on the 16th hole, made famous when Sergio Garcia closed his eyes and blasted a tremendous shot from its base in the 1999 PGA Championship, had to be removed. Golfers emulating his shot damaged the base of the tree, and it died.
As for No. 10, most of the 24 players here this week for these biennial matches can drive the ball at least 290 yards, but carrying it that far is a much different proposition. Realistically, only four golfers present have the ability to fly the ball that far in the air: Watson and Dustin Johnson on the American side, and Europeans Rory McIlroy and Nicolas Colsaerts.