The USGA last staged the US Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in 2004. As has been mentioned this week, this memory was not forgotten and the USGA didn’t want to repeat the same mistake twice!
Today, that mistake turned into a nightmare all over again for the USGA. Putts rolling off greens. Players hitting moving balls in protest of pin positions. Players commenting about the course getting away from them following their round.
To help you understand just how hard the golf course was playing, the average score for the best players in the world was over 75 today. Those of us sitting at home watching couldn’t have broken 100 out there today and 115 may have been in jeopardy.
Players who went out early, had some success like Daniel Berger and Tony Finau. They were lucky enough to sit in the locker room and just watch all of the carnage unfold in the afternoon. Both players started today 11 shots off the lead and now find themselves in the final pairing, tied with Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka.
The story that everyone will be talking about for years to come is what unfolded on 13 today with Phil Mickelson. After hitting a putt from about 10 feet that broke hard and was racing past the hole, Mickelson ran up to his ball, while it was still moving, and putted it back at the hole. Hitting a moving golf ball. The result of his actions ended up giving him a 10 on the hole but the debate of his actions will continue for days to come.
Should Phil had reacted this way? We don’t think so, but we understand sort of. The putt was headed off the front of the green. While this isn’t an excuse for his actions, he should respect the game more than this, it showed to us just how far gone the golf course was and what the USGA had done to the course. It looked more like trying to play golf on a roller coaster as opposed to one of the top 50 golf courses in the world.
Zach Johnson was the first player to call out the USGA in his post round press conference with SkySports. He said that the USGA had lost the golf course. He was right.
Pins were put in spots that made it impossible to make a putt due to the speed they were moving. The only thing that could happen with some of them is if you got the ball at all past the hole you were going to be playing your next shot from off the greens.
We are all for good shots being rewarded and bad shots being penalized, so don’t take this as we are complaining. This afternoon, good shots left the players wondering how they could have played it any better. At times it wasn’t fun to watch. To have the leaders starting the final round at +3 should have the USGA embarrassed.
They can argue that everyone had to play the same golf course. If the first half of the field had a scoring average three strokes lower than the last half of the field the golf course wasn’t the same. It was Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde today! While they admitted the course got away from them, it shouldn’t have ever gotten that far. There is too much technology today to allow that to happen!
Dads Say So, round three of the US Open will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons. There is no reason that a golf course should play this difficult. The powers that be at the USGA will try to save face but they should all be fired for what they have done this week. There is no excuse for what happened today! The Golf Channel can do their best to save them by showing someone hand watering the greens going into and out of commercial but they shouldn’t have let it get that far. They claim that they heard the players and the course will be more playable tomorrow, but at the end of the day, if someone was thinking about taking up golf and watched this today they will never take up the game. The USGA is supposed to be growing the game not making it take 100 steps back. When are they going to realize they need to Make Golf Fun Again (thanks Lock) and have it enjoyable for everyone.