When Hale Irwin won the US Open at Winged Foot in 1974 he did so with a score of seven-over par. After playing 27 holes at the famed course in New York, Kiwi Ryan Fox can see something similar happening this year.
Having played seven European Tour events in eight weeks since golf's restart after the Covid-19 hiatus, Fox has crossed the Atlantic for what will be his 10th appearance in a major.
Tiger Woods has called the course one of the toughest three in the world alongside last year's US Open venue Oakmont and the Scottish links course Carnoustie, and Fox agreed, shortly after playing 18 holes alongside 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott.
"I would probably add Shinnecock Hills there from Tiger's list, I haven't played Oakmont but for me Carnoustie is very tough and Winged Foot is right in there as well. It's like nothing you will see in New Zealand," Fox said.
"It's long and the rough is gnarly, you will see plenty of guys miss greens from two yards off the green, and the greens - there are slopes everywhere. There will be guys putting away from the hole to try to get it close. There will be guys lag putting it to 15 feet because if you go at the pin you have a chance of putting it off the green if you are in the wrong spot."
Fox indicated he struggled in yesterday's practice round.
"I did not count and that was intentional. In a practice round it's more about seeing it and it's hard to get yourself up. You hit in in the rough and mess around a couple of times and make a double here and there. I made a couple of birdies out there today so it wasn't all dire. All it takes is one bad day and it can kick your ass properly."
There are a couple of positives for the 33-year-old whose best finish at the US Open was a tie for 41st in 2018. He is in the first group to tee off, at 10.50pm tonight.
"Being early is going to help, definitely having no wind. This golf course is hard enough - it doesn't need to blow 20 miles an hour for it to be hard."
The length of the course could also be an advantage for the long-hitting Kiwi.
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"If I drive the ball well I think it's a golf course that will suit me and having a bit of speed is certainly going to help when you are hacking it out of the rough. It's a complete guess and a case of 'grab whatever club you think you can get out of it, and hope'. It's all about controlling the ball this week. You've got to be in play off the tee and hit the middle of the green. I don't think you will see many birdies and a good round this week will be one, two or three-under. I can certainly see over par winning it."
Fox has also revealed some extra motivation this week. It's 15 years since Michael Campbell won the US Open at Pinehurst and Campbell copped it in an article in Golf Digest which described his win as the most 'underwhelming' US Open wins.
"There's maybe a little extra motivation with that Golf Digest article and I did enjoy seeing some of the replies from Cambo and others. I said that to [Adam Scott] and he kind of laughed and said at points of Campbell's career he was unbeatable. To take down the best player in the world at the time - playing really good golf as Tiger was in 05 - is nothing to sneeze at and I am not sure where they got that Golf Digest article headline from but it's certainly a little bit of extra motivation for me."
The other Kiwi in the field, Danny Lee, tees off at 6.00am on Friday.