DON’T GET ME STARTED has no applause for the 2015 U.S. Open Golf Tournament staged in the Northwest.


Art Wander

For three days, golfing fans watched many of the top golfers struggle on a course best suited for farming than golf. The top golfers were gobbled up by the rough; the rolling greens; the many bunkers. Actually it made for interesting golf to see how they would manage their shots. One thing no one can complain about is that all the golfers had to play the same course. And many comments – negative ones – where heard.

By the way, I thought the Fox Network really didn’t do a good job televising the event. I thought that Joe Buck, Greg Norman and so many others got more air time than the golfers did.

Now how did the USGA wimp out?

1. For three rounds, they alternated the 1st and 18th holes as par 5s. Day one, the 18th was a par 5; Day two the 1st was a par 5; the 3rd day the 18th was a par 5.

2. The complaints were coming from all directions, most stating that the 18th should always be a par 5. In the alternate day scenario, the final round should have had the 18th as a par four as it had been on the 2nd day. The USGA decided to make it a par 5, giving the golfers what they wanted in a tournament where the organizers make it a more difficult trek in a US Open.

3. Nor only that – on the final day of the US Open – the USGA decided to trim 250 yards from the lengthy course. On 13 holes, the tees were moved up. That certainly made it an easier course for the players. Fans got used to the longer layout and, in fact, noted that it was more entertaining. Scores, with 250 more yards to traverse, were in the 70s. Big time golfers finished in double digit plus scores. Tiger Woods was about 14 shots over par; Michelson, ditto and so it went. On the final day, scores many scores were in the 60s.

When I heard the course would be reduced by 250 yards and the 18th would be a par 5 rather than a 4 on the alternate schedule, I knew that it would not be as entertaining. What really grips my driver is that the USGA listened to the complaints rather than stand by their guns. The final day saw many golfers putting for eagles on the 18th green.

I didn’t hear any complaints about one hole being only 270 yards in length….many golfers driving it and looking at eagles. I didn’t hear them complain when the first hole was a par 5.

The USGA (US Golfers Association) should be embarrassed for wimping out and altering the course because of complaining golfers. This might send a signal that in the future if the golfers band together and complain, they might play a round of golf using only wedges.

I, for one, chastise the USGA for what they did on the final day of the US Open on Don’t Get Me Started.

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