Date: June 10, 2014
Author: John Sutherland/ at Pinehurst

Goss: this U.S Open course is brutal


That's the best word 20 year-old National Squad member Oliver Goss can use to describe the nature of the U.S Open test this week at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. 

The Perth local arrived at Pinehurst last Friday and spent the week familiarising himself with the layout. He'll play a practice round with Jason Day on Tuesday.

"Getting down here early was definitely a good decision. I got here Friday afternoon and have played the last three days (Saturday, Sunday & Monday) and I’ve had a lot of good practice and got to see a lot of the course and the more you see it the better, so I’m feeling good about my game and my chances for this week," Goss said.

The par 70 Pinehurst layout will not boast the traditional U.S Open setup – long penal rough – but will look more like a Melbourne sandbelt course with sandy waste areas off the fairways.

"The course is brutal, Its very long 6,800 metres par 70 – it's not going to play full length. The most troubling thing is the hole might be 500 yards, but you need to take an iron or 3 wood off the tee because of the bunkering. The greens are raised so much 5 – 6 foot and are bowl shaped, so to hit it is tiny. If you hit just off the right edge it's 20 yards down the hill and your left with a super tough chip," Goss said.

Goss's first Major Championship at The Masters Tournament ended in spectacular fashion as Goss won the low amateur honours – the first Australian to do so in history. He'll be looking for a similar approach this week at the U.S Open.

"It'll be similar to the Masters, just try to have as much fun as I can , learn from the experience – just get better as a player. Playing with these players, you learn a lot really quickly. I'm just really excited for the week, no specific goal like to shoot 10-under par or finish top 10. That would put a lot of pressure on me. Just want to go out there and play stress-free and care-free," Goss added.

Goss will tee off on Thursday in an all-Australian affair with Aaron Baddeley and Aron Price. Price will also be playing in his first Major championship.

"It's going to be fun. Three Aussies in one group, we always take care of each other and have a lot of banter with each other which is good. I think it will be good to help me relax playing with guys from home who I know," Goss said.