On Saturday at the Farmers Insurance Open, I felt that the Golf Course was maybe a little too much for this time of the year. The tournament officials agreed with my assessment, and softened it for the Sunday finale’. The Saturday set-up at Torrey Pines South played just a few hundredths of a shot easier than it did during the 2008 US Open won by Tiger Woods in a Monday playoff with Rocco Mediate.
With the fairways mowed in US Open fashion, and inaccessible pins, the course was a monster. The “Moving Day” lead started at -10 under par, and ended at -8 under. Not only did it set up a tough situation for the pros who made the cut, but was not very exciting for fans, as pretty good PGA Tour golfers agonized over every approach shot, as well as and every putt on the Poa Anna greens.
I expect this type of golf as we ease into June, and have a field full of seasoned world-classed players, not in late January with a field of mostly B players trying to make up ground before the tour heads for Florida, and the top European players get back to work.
The diversity between the North, and South courses at Torrey Pines adds up to a difference of 600 yards, and almost four strokes on the score card. Players get one-shot at the easy course in the first two rounds, but have to play the two final rounds on the monster.
Maybe tournament officials at the Farmers Insurance Open need to re-think the situation here. If they would reverse the format to include only one round on the South Course, or set the South Course up for a little easier access, I feel like it would be a much better tournament in January.
As a fan, I was looking forward to the first appearance of Tiger Woods in the new season, and a possible run down the stretch with Tiger and Phil doing battle on Sunday. Unfortunately, Phil had to withdraw due to back problems, and Tiger showed up with more rust on his game than the Titanic. So I got neither player on Sunday, and what I got a mad scramble to make one birdie for a win at the 18th hole. I found myself praying for someone to get to -9 under so we wouldn’t have to watch a playoff.
Come on, lets leave the US Open in June, where it belongs, not bring it into January!
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