Woods said to reporters in his pre-tournament media availability.
Winged Foot's thick, nasty rough and notoriously hard, sloping greens will challenge the world's best, including Johnson.
Not every course is associated with the word "Massacre".
"The winning scores here have never traditionally been very low".
Even though McIlroy is a former U.S. Open victor, that victory was in 2011 and in the last four years he has missed the cut three times. Geoff Ogilvy survived to capture his lone major championship, with a 5-over winning score.
Despite his recent dominance Johnson only has one major title to his name, which came at the 2016 U.S. Open, but he said he is not putting any added pressure on himself this week.
In that span, Brooks Koepka has won four majors, Jordan Spieth three. There's nothing real tricky about it. "You have to hit good shots".
"It's a U.S. Open man, it's going to play tough, it's going to play challenging, and it's going to identify the best players in the world this week", he said. Even with changes to the course after the 2006 U.S. Open, it still remains penal as ever. 2020 PGA Championship victor Collin Morikawa is aware of this, even with playing just 9 holes in a practice round on Tuesday.
"He passed not too long after that, and quite frankly, when I got ready for this event, I didn't really put in the practice, and consequently missed the cut pretty easily". "I'm not going into this week scared of Winged Foot". He gets a shot at a sixth green jacket at the Masters in November.
"You can be pin high and not have a putt at the hole". When asked about his thoughts on the golf course, World No. 3 Justin Thomas described Winged Foot as "fun". "I played 18 holes on Monday and loved what I saw".
"I haven't played in a tournament yet, but so far it seems very, very hard, one of the harder ones I've ever played", Johnson said.
"Hopefully it stays in good form for the rest of the week, but it's one of those golf courses where it's very hard and you need to be spot-on if you want to play well".
"Something would have to go seriously wrong to get into the realms of goofy golf", McIlroy said.
The strategies will vary for the golfers in the field.
Defending champion Gary Woodland arrived over the weekend and was chipping around the green when his caddie tossed golf balls in his direction.
Jon Rahm doesn't expect anyone under par by the end of the week.
Having the U.S. Open in September for the first time since 1913, a move forced by golf being shut down for three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, allows for cooler temperatures and better control of the greens and their wild contours at Winged Foot, along with a sub-air system. The distance has increased.
Winged Foot was also less daunting than expected - a fair test and not the beast that has been "hyped up". And the victor on Sunday, will no doubt have to battle not just their own mental battles but the demands of an illustrious golf course forever etched into the annals of U.S. Open history.