There have been some interesting conversations on Google +, and Twitter with respect to the difficulty the players faced at Merion during the US Open last week. Long rough, fairways shifted to bring out-of-bounds into play, pins cut into impossible positions on the greens, and putting speeds that continued to climb after the course started to dry out. My point, is that everything is equal to all players. Shut up and Play!
I wouldn’t want to see the players have to deal with the type of conditions at the 2013 US Open on a weekly basis, but once in a while it’s nice to see professional golfers struggle. I like to see the Ryder Cup type of atmosphere that is ever-present at The Waste Management Phoenix Open every year, but I wouldn’t want to see it every week.
I think many of the players who struggled at Merion last week had the wrong mindset. Professional golfers are so conditioned to make birdies, they freak out when they are having to make pars, and bogeys to keep pace. The players who are successful in this environment are the ones who understand that everyone is playing the same course, and +1 over par can win a US Open.
In the history of the US Open, only two times has the winning score reached double-digits. Rory McIlroy won the 2011 US Open at Congressional with a -16 under par score, and Tiger Woods ran away with the title in 2000 at Pebble Beach with a -12 under par score. That’s it. Geoff Ogilvy won at Winged Foot in 2006 with a five over par total. The USGA likes to see US Opens won at even par.
Rex Hoggard filed this report yesterday, and most of the pros would support a return to Merion, but they want it set up a little different. The comment section reflects what fans want to see, and they agree with me..make it tough again.
You had to know when you saw Tiger Woods shaking his elbow after hitting out of the rough at Merion, that there were some physical problems going on there. That was the reason when the world’s number one player opted out of the AT&T National next week, it didn’t come as a surprise. Woods indicated he had injured the elbow at the Players Championship, and will be ready to go when the British Open tees off next month at Muirfield.
This is an interesting report by 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson where he takes on the conditions at Merion, and what is going on in the planning stages for next year’s Ryder Cup event in Scotland.
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