Jordan Spieth believes in the teeth of Oakmont Country Club, having witnessed its bite firsthand during a practice round earlier this week.
"Yeah, it's lived up and passed the hype it already receives from everybody," the reigning U.S. Open champ said in an interview with the USGA.
Spieth has never played Oakmont as a professional. He has played as an amatuer at Sunnehanna, about an hour and a half away in Johnstown, PA. At the time, winning a U.S. Open at Oakmont wasn't even a thought in his mind. "At that point, I was looking forward to getting to college before I did anything else," he said, laughing.
"I knew that Oakmont is in the rotation and I knew that if you win a U.S. Open at Oakmont, you can go ahead and say that you've conquered the hardest test in all of golf, because this is arguably the hardest course in America day to day."
The 22-year-old played 27 holes at the fabled Western Pennsylvania landmark, attempting to learn slopes in the fairways, greens to attack, and most importantly, where the trouble is.
After all of that, Spieth came to a simple conclusion: "There's just so many other tough holes that par is going to be a fantastic score. I'd sign for even par right now for 72 holes in June."
Considering Angel Cabrera won in 2007 at five over, it's safe to say Spieth isn't alone with that thought.