United States Golf Association officials said the layout designed by William Flynn could play as many as 280 yards shorter than its listed 6,483 yards, depending on any further rain.

"Mother Nature hasn't cooperated with us, so we're dealing with a slightly softer golf course than we would like," championship director Ben Kimball told reporters ahead of Thursday's first round.

"It's just unfortunate that seven-plus inches (18 centimetres) of rain in June and some in the early part of July are keeping us from what we'd like to see."

Several tee shots on the course head to uphill landings and require particularly precise approach shots to severely sloping greens.

Kimball said the graduated rough would be trimmed daily. A chance of more rain is forecast for Thursday, with a drier outlook for the rest of the championship.

The championship director said he expected a very challenging test for players on the back nine.

"The back nine is tough. It will be very tough," Kimball said, predicting some drama over the final two rounds.

"Come Saturday and Sunday, as the leaders move into that back nine, I think we're going to see a lot of interesting things happen. "There can be a variety of numbers that can be made on this back nine."

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