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US Open Golf 2012: The Olympic Club Course May Be Biggest Star At U.S. Open

The U.S. Open course often makes bigger headlines than the winner of the tournaments as the USGA likes to give the world's best golfers their toughest test of the year. The U.S. Open champion will need to be precise on Olympic's hilly layout, but making solid golf shots may not even be enough as Tiger Woods found out in a recent practice round leading up to next week's tournament.

Woods recently played a practice round and was amazed to see a 9-iron hit the green and bounce as high as the top of the flagstick. Olympic is nearly 200 yards longer than when Lee Janzen won at even-par 280 in 1998. Some of the fairways have been shifted. The greens have been resurfaced. The 520-yard opening hole is now a par 4, while the 522-yard 17th hole is now a par 5. An additional tee was built on the par-5 16th hole, making it 670 yards, the longest hole in U.S. Open history.

"It's going to be a hell of a test," Woods said.

In other words, Olympic is ready to deliver exactly what the USGA wants for the U.S. Open.

For all your news and updates in the run up to the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic, visit SB Nation's dedicated golf hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.