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“Don’t go by what they score here this week,” Trevino said, “simply because Merion may not have its teeth in because of the wetness.”

Neither did Congressional two years ago, when rains softened the course and yielded McIlroy’s record-shattering 16-under 268. That year, USGA officials said repeatedly that even par wasn’t their target score for a U.S. Open winner.

They’re already in the same mode this week at Merion.

“Sure, we want it firm and fast,” O'Toole said. “We happen to play a sport that’s played outdoors. … So it’s not a perfect world.”

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