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Woods gives strong approval to Olympia Fields

Tiger Woods gave Olympia Fields Country Club a strong review.

Woods played the course Tuesday to get a sense of what to expect during the U.S. Open next month. His caddie said the defending champion either shot 68 or 69.

"It's going to be a heck of a test," Woods said following a practice round at the Memorial Wednesday. "The opening holes are short. You'll see somebody go low. But the closing holes are something else. I mean you have to really play."

Woods liked the variety of Olympia Fields, noting a mixture of short par 4s, two reachable par 5s, and several challenging long par 4s.

He said there would be a premium on staying straight off the tee and that length won't necessarily rule the day. He noted that if a player hits the slope on the fairway, he could run the ball another 20 to 30 yards.

"Anybody can win that Open," Woods said. "There will be a good mixture of guys on top of the board. It's going to be a neat challenge."

The Memorial is Woods' final test before the Open and his first PGA Tour event since the Masters. His only other appearance since then was an event in Germany two weeks ago.

The Memorial's founder, Jack Nicklaus, played in the 1997 U.S. Senior Open at Olympia Fields. The course has undergone a $2 million renovation since then. It plays longer and the bunkers are tougher.

"Olympia Fields is a pretty nice golf course," Nicklaus said. "The bunkers were a little outdated. If they rearranged them, and I think that's what they did, they will have a good golf course."


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