US Open: Will Zalatoris reveals why the Country Club is the toughest course he’s played

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BROOKLINE, Mass. – Will Zalatoris is the co-leader of the US Open with a 4-under score going into Sunday’s final round, but that doesn’t mean the course at the Country Club was a breeze.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Zalatoris considers the historic course in Brookline, Mass., to be the toughest he has ever played.

“Literally, when people ask me what’s the toughest golf course you’ve ever played, I’ve said The Country Club since 2013,” Zalatoris explained Saturday after shooting a 3-under par third round. “Admittedly, Gil made some changes, adding 11, which is a phenomenal hole. I still haven’t hit that green this week. It’s the ‘easiest shot’ on the golf course.”

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What makes this course so difficult?

“I think there’s a good mix of short holes and longer holes, but the shorter holes just make one mistake and you’re fighting for par,” Zalatoris said.

“You’ve got your fair share in the 500m Par-4s which are quite straight, but that’s fair – it shows you that the tough this week, I think, in the four Opens I’ve played is the shortest ever played, and it’s still – I think I had – I think I was 1 for 5 able to go green just because of the scenario that’s in front of you.

“Like on 10, if you hit one in the rough, you’re going to have 210 up the hill with rough, basically 50 yards of rough in front of you and some bunkers, so you have to lay down. Literally every single the shot that you’re trying to do, obviously – off the tee it’s so crucial here to hit as many fairways as possible.”

Zalatoris was one of seven golfers to shoot under par in Saturday’s third round. The weather played a role as temperatures dropped into the low 60s and winds were blowing between 10 and 20 mph throughout the afternoon.

Winds will whip again on Sunday and temperatures will drop further into the 50s.

The combination of less than ideal weather conditions, the pressure of a major championship final and an unforgiving course will give golfers near the top of the standings a fantastic test on the final 18 holes of the US Open.

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