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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 292 US Open wrap
USGA lost control of the course as it tried to manipulate what the final score would be. It’s no secret, the desire of the USGA is to have a winning score within a few strokes either side of even par. And so it is every year when the US Open rolls around, we learn how the USGA has ‘tampered’ with the original design and/or set-up of the course to “make it the toughest challenge in golf” – a mantra that I am sure is stitched into the lining of every blue blazer handed out to the USGA executive. This year, we learned the USGA, in prepping Shinnecock Hills, reclaimed seven acres of 50 acres of fairway to plant long fescue grass. The wide fairways – a key attribute of the extensive Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw redesign of 2012 – were narrowed down, eliminating many of the angles and playing lines the designers had envisioned players would take to hit into the corners of the putting surfaces. With fewer playing lines available to all players – that is short and long hitters – the ‘US Open Doctored’ course removed the shorter hitter (any player averaging drives less than 295 yards) from any discussion about who might win. Against the power-hitting might of a Koepka or Dustin Johnson, the shorter player at Shinnecock, who COVER STORY It’s no secret, the desire of the USGA is to have a winning score within a few strokes either side of even par.
GA Express 291
GA Express 293 Peter Thomson tribute