That Was A Major Golf Tournament?
More Like A Very Bad Joke

In the 120-year history of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, has there ever been a worse choice of a site than Chambers Bay, six miles from Tacoma?

The course looked—and played—like a bad joke—in sharp contrast to last year’s Pinehurst No. 2 site and Oakmont Country Club next year—two sites worthy of playing hosts to one of the supposedly major annual tournaments—the kind that puts you in a special category of golfing “icons” if you have won all four major tournaments in one year and have done it more than once during your golfing career.

Proud Tradition, Lousy 2015 Choice

A good friend of mine—a good golfer and a very knowledgeable follower of golf tournaments—told me that Chambers Bay was selected as a sort of 11th-hour choice when a much more prestigious course—Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Long Island, NY—had to decline the invitation to host this year’s U.S. Open.

An explanation but, as I see it, not a justifiable excuse for picking a lousy course like Chambers Bay for the supposedly prestigious U.S. Open.

One competitor’s evaluation:  “Putting these greens is like putting over a layer of asparagus.”

Another competitor:  “This was absolutely the worst golf hole I’ve ever played.”  He was talking about the quality of the hole, not the way he played it.

Another competitor told his pregnant wife not to come to the course to cheer for him as she customarily would.  A commentator noted that she was pregnant, and the golfer had observed that several women spectators had fallen down because of treacherous footing in front of the spectator bleachers.

‘Icon’ Status Takes More Time

Some good golf, some great golf, some surprisingly bad golf.  One consistent element:  All the golf was played on a lousy golf course.  One commentator said, “The things we saw were almost unbelievable.”

Jordan Spieth is one of six ever to win both Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.  That leaves him two short—the British Open and the PGA—of a first Grand Slam.

One commentator:  “America now has a new golf icon” in Spieth.

Hardly a true icon—Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Open four times and the Masters six times.

As they staggered through the final nine holes, it often seemed less a question of who was going to win but more a question of who was going to blow it (as Dustin Johnson finally did, three putting from 12 feet on the 72nd hole.  Two puts would have put him into a playoff on Monday with Spieth.)

* * *

There Was Good News For ABT Fans:
Tiger Misses The Cut By Shooting 19 Over

But there was still an upbeat note to all of this if you are a member of the ABT (anybody but Tiger) club, as I am:

Woods’ 19 shots over par in the first 36 holes meant his failure to make the cut.

# # #

 

Posted in Column | Leave a comment