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Merion chairman Rick Ill got similar feedback after another pro visited.

“Graeme McDowell played a few weeks ago and said you have your years mixed up, the course is ready today,” Ill said.

That’s high praise for the club that will be hosting its USGA-high 19th championship.

Ill said the USGA plans to have Merion’s greens speedy, the fairways between 22 and 24 yards wide and rough at approximately 3 1/2 inches.

“There will be nothing tricky,” Ill said. “But it all depends on the weather. We can control a lot of things …”

“We’re not worried about the score. … I think the pros will enjoy playing here, playing where Hogan walked,” he said.

Nicklaus was once quoted as saying of Merion, “Acre for acre, it may be the best test of golf in the world.”

And that was the ultimate issue: At just 120 acres, the course routing leaves little room for the accouterments that accompany an Open, which is big business.

“The U.S. Open has changed a great deal; a lot of work has been invested,” said Hank Thompson, U.S. Open manager for the USGA. “It’s not so much the golf course, it’s if the area could support it.”

The USGA and Merion have made some concessions to make the event work. The USGA is limiting attendance to 25,000 per round, down from the usual average of about 35,000, and plans are in place for a few smaller merchandise tents, rather than one large tent. Strategically placed grandstands are expected to help crowd flow, and remote satellite parking and hospitality tents are also part of the plan.

The club reached out to the township and nearby Haverford College to help ensure a smooth running event.

“The initial plan is one that can work and be effective,” Thompson said.

Excitement for the event is building. The USGA announced Sunday that grounds tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the championship have sold out, with remaining ground tickets for the opening round expected to sell out soon.