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USGA tries to gather shot selections

After their final rounds were over at the U.S. Open, a number of caddies carried a white slip of paper to a USGA office and came back with as much as $550 cash in their pocket.

Just call them human Shotlink machines.

The USGA offered bonus cash to caddies to kept track of shot selections for their players. It was part of the USGA's effort to try to get Pinehurst No. 2 just right for the U.S. Women's Open this week.

"We don't have a lot of data on women's golf," USGA executive director Mike Davis said.

The USGA had equipment in place to measure distances throughout the course. Getting the clubs from caddies was crucial because Davis is trying -- and he's already conceded that he won't be able to get it right -- to have the women play the same kind of shot. The key will be the firmness of the greens.

"It's like Shotlink data, only we're taking it one step further," Davis said.

"We had volunteers at every green, even during the practice rounds. They were charting eight things a ball could do when it hit the greens."

That's a lot of numbers to crunch. And over four days this week, the USGA will see how close it came to getting No. 2 in comparable shape.

The USGA wasn't the only one gathering data for the Women's Open. Michelle Wie picked up a few good books to read before playing this week -- the yardage books of U.S. Open runner-up Rickie Fowler and Keegan Bradley, who tied for fourth, along with the books their caddies kept.

Wie knows both players from living in South Florida.

"Knowledge is key around (Pinehurst No. 2), just knowing where to miss it, where not to miss it," Wie said. "It's such a unique experience to have the information. You normally go up to a golf course site, the information would probably be from like years ago from when they replayed it or something.

"But this is pretty fresh information and it's pretty similar conditions to what we'll play. So hopefully, I think it's going to be very useful and I'm very thankful that they gave it to me for me to use."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.