SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Day two at the Sanford International provided players another opportunity to explore Minnehaha Country Club.
Practice rounds are in full swing at the Sanford International.
“It’s such a fine line between playing pretty well and just stumbling around out there and the guys want to make sure that they get on the right side of that line,” Sanford International Tournament Host Andy North said.
Tournament Host and two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North used to spend his practice rounds near the greens and believes that’s where tournaments are won and lost.
“You can hit it around, you can hit a lot of bad shots, but if you’re good around the greens you can save that so I think I usually try and spend as much time there as I could,” North said.
Steve Stricker won the inaugural Sanford International without playing a practice round, but North says there’s a distinct advantage to having played the course.
“Let’s say the wind blows out of the west Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday here and then Friday morning turns and comes out of the northeast, it’s a totally different golf course. Even though you have numbers and that stuff it gives you a totally different feeling, you’re not 100-percent committed most of the time if you don’t really feel good about it,” North said.
“A lot of local knowledge is very important, so even though the guys are back for their fourth year they’re still trying to find out those nuances and little spines and ridges on the greens and where to hit it and where to miss it and leave yourself in a good position to secure par and make those birdies,” Minnehaha Country Club Head Professional Justin Freudenburg said.
Experience is key, but North isn’t counting out tournament newcomer Jim Furyk.
“Furyk’s playing great, he’s the new kid on the block, I think he’s going to be tough to beat and this is a wonderful golf course for him. I think it really sets up well,” North said.
The professionals will have another chance to see the course with pro-am events on Wednesday and Thursday, while the 54-hole Sanford International tees off on Friday.