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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 292 US Open wrap
was using a 5-iron against a Koepka or Johnson 8-iron, had little to no chance. But that’s the path the USGA has taken. Have a look at the past four US Opens and the leader of the driving distance stats has won three titles and finished second in the other. To compound the problem, the USGA lost the golf course midway through the third round – just as it promised it would never do again after the 2004 final round at Shinnecock when greens had to be watered between groups. But USGA CEO Mike Davis was forced to apologise for Saturday’s course set-up after a number of players branded Shinnecock “unplayable”, “not a fair test of golf” and accused the organisation of crossing the line with pin positions, knowing the greens would be quick and the wind strong. “There’s a long history of the US Open being a tough test of golf. We want it to be a complete test of golf,” Davis said after the third round. “Today, what we saw was a tale of two golf courses from the morning to the afternoon. All the members from the team that set the course up felt good about where things were when we left the 18th green this morning. “But the fact of the matter is it got too tough onusinsomeareas.BythatImean...we really want to test execution, what we don’t want to see is well-executed shots are not only not rewarded but, in some cases, are penalised. We saw a few examples of that today and that’s not what we wanted. “When you cut to the chase, we got more wind than we bargained for and the greens dried right out. When these greens dry out they shrink.” The one question not asked of Davis was, “knowing there was some wind coming, why run COVER STORY
GA Express 291
GA Express 293 Peter Thomson tribute