BETHESDA, Md. — Jim Furyk must feel as if he's going from one U.S. Open to another one.
During a practice round Wednesday at Congressional for the AT&T National, he stood on the first tee and planned to hit driver over the right edge of the bunker, bouncing it up the fairway toward the green, just like he has the other three times he played it as a PGA Tour event.
Only there was one problem.
The bunker no longer hugged the left side. The fairway was so narrow that the bunker was 10 yards into the rough.
"I went, 'Oh, wow.' Looked at my caddie and said, 'The cut lines are still the same as they were at the Open last year,'" Furyk said.
On the par-3 second hole, the wind was so strong into him that he hit a 3-wood onto the front of the green. A year ago at the U.S. Open, the greens were so soft from heavy rain that it would have taken a few hops and rolled to a stop.
"It ended up on the back of the green," Furyk said. "And it was into the breeze. I said, 'OK, game on.' Now I realize what I have to get ready for this week."
Congressional looks more like a U.S. Open course than the U.S. Open did last year.
The fairways are tight. The rough is thick and ankle-deep in spots, and this was after they cut it down a few weeks ago. The greens are firm and bouncy. It has all the trappings of a U.S. Open, and Congressional has hosted three of them.
But this is just the AT&T National.
"I'm sure we'll see U.S. Open-type conditions, probably a lot firmer and faster than they were here when we played the U.S. Open," Davis Love III said. "I think it's going to play tough."
The USGA was at the mercy of the weather last year — difficult conditions during the growing season, overnight rain during the championship that didn't allow the course to dry out. The result was a record score by Rory McIlroy, who finished on 16-under 268 for an eight-shot win.
McIlroy isn't back this year because he loves home just a little more than he loves Congressional. The Irish Open is this week at Royal Portrush in his native Northern Ireland.