PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) -- The U.S. Open is underway on a Pinehurst No. 2 course that looks nothing like it once did.
Under cloud cover in North Carolina, Daniel Berger hit an iron off the first tee to stay just short of the sandy area filled with native plants and clumps of wiregrass bushes. In the previous two U.S. Opens, that would have been thick rough typical of the so-called toughest test in golf.
In a project to restore the Donald Ross course to its natural look more than a half-century ago, some 40 acres of turf was removed. The only sprinklers—about 60 percent fewer—are in a single row in the middle of the fairways. Expect to see plenty of brown grass along the edges.