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Official 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Discussion Thread - Page 34

post #595 of 685

They kept saying "fairway metals" in the telecast -

 

that's so annoying
 

post #596 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

They kept saying "fairway metals" in the telecast -

 

that's so annoying
 

+1. It's a 3 wood. I don't care if it's a tire iron with a can of soup duct taped to it. It's a 3 wood.

post #597 of 685

Your US Open champion. Two wins in Philly now, as he won the ATT at Aronimink a few years back..

 

 

 

 

Me, king of the hill on 17


Edited by phan52 - 6/17/13 at 4:33pm
post #598 of 685
Phil called out an official about the yardage, saying that it was bullsh*t.
post #599 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by tide View Post

Phil called out an official about the yardage, saying that it was bullsh*t.

 

It's pointless to complain about it since everyone has to play it. Especially when you're one of the longer players on tour. 

post #600 of 685
Quote:

 

Quote:

After spending all week there as a marshal, I don't believe the USGA needed to make the course as penal as they did to keep scores down. The greens were all they needed to protect the golf course. I saw very few guys making putts over 10 feet and, when they did, they were just lucky they hit the hole because they would all gone 10 feet past. The grain on those greens is confounding, something the best players in the world could never figure out.

 

Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

I would disagree with this simply because of math.  As I understand it, the USGA's goal is always to get a winning score as close to even par as possible.  Seeing as how the winner was +1, I'd say they pretty much nailed it.

 

And I was disappointed with the way a lot of guys were making their bogeys.  I expect a lot of bogeys at the US Open because of tough greens, rough and pins, but I don't expect a lot of bogeys because guys can't hit fairways with 5 irons and can't hit greens with wedges.  Seems like there was way too much of that this weekend.  Phil at 13 was only 1 example.  I guess it could have just been Open pressure, but it surprised me.

 

There's nothing wrong with an Open being a little under par and, with the greens the way they were, there was no way the final score would have been low regardless. As you said, the players were hitting shorter clubs to try and stay in the fairway and couldn't do it anyway. If the fairways were a little more forgiving, the players may have challenged it with longer clubs and the results would have been the same. They should have at least had a first cut on some of the holes. It's ridiculous to miss a fairway by a foot and have an unplayable lie.

 

Justin Rose spent 3-4 days the week before playing the course and that clearly helped him navigate his way around. Tiger was there for a day in the rain and spent most of his time charting the greens as opposed to putting on them. It's one thing to know the undulations, but a whole other matter to know the grain. They didn't have a chance.

post #601 of 685

The wind was quartering and against from the left.  The hole plays slightly uphill.  127 yards seemed like a good yardage to me.  Phil just got too cute trying to land a low one w/o spin.  A smooth gap wedge with those Callaway balls would have spun back to what maybe 25 feet below the cup.  If Bones was off, it might have been one yard.  Phil flew the pin by at least 10 yards and was fortunate it did not go into Cobbs creek..

Quote:
Originally Posted by chriskzoo View Post

Glad to see Rose win - guys is class act.

 

Phil makes dumb decisions and those decisions catch up with you at a US Open - Sunday was no different and got lucky to even be as close as he was with the hole-out on #10. #13 was playing 121 yards and instead of hitting an easy gap wedge, he tried to get cute and hit a low draw with a PW - bogey. On #16. Hit the green, take your chance at birdie, and move on with par. 

Then on #15 he just hits a bad pitch - landed it at the hole when he could have probably putted up over the collar to within 5 feet - not a sure par, but a lot better than where he ended up.  Point being, if he's smarter on either of these shots, he is probably tied going into #18, not 1 shot down.  

 

What I still haven't heard anyone talk about on #13 was that the audio from the TV had Bones saying "I have it playing 127"  - was there any wind on that hole?  It was listed as 121 all day on the TV and Phil landed it long - could have been a bad yardage.

post #602 of 685

Greens weren't the issue. The issue with why the players scored they way they did is, in my opinion, a little arrogance since it was said to be a 'short' course, and the fact that the rough was atrocious. 

post #603 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by tide View Post

Greens weren't the issue. The issue with why the players scored they way they did is, in my opinion, a little arrogance since it was said to be a 'short' course, and the fact that the rough was atrocious. 

 

This right here. It was simply the rough that the guys couldn't contend with. Miss the fairway by 6", and staring bogey (or more) in the face.

post #604 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley01 View Post

This right here. It was simply the rough that the guys couldn't contend with. Miss the fairway by 6", and staring bogey (or more) in the face.

I enjoyed it, I'm sick of birdie fest all the time...

Nice watching the guys with the best shots win...
post #605 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchshot View Post


I enjoyed it, I'm sick of birdie fest all the time...

Nice watching the guys with the best shots win...

Me too, although the USGA really rides a fine line on their setups.  (I'm thinking of that fairway that couldn't hold a shot and they would all roll into the left rough, or Rose hitting a great iron into the front part of 18 only to watch it roll off the back)  You really appreciate how good these guys are when they are grinding like they have to on these courses.

 

But hat's off to the USGA for being able to get their winning scores pretty close to their goal of E most of the time.  (Even if they have to "cheat" to do it a lot of times)

post #606 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley01 View Post

 

This right here. It was simply the rough that the guys couldn't contend with. Miss the fairway by 6", and staring bogey (or more) in the face.

 

Of course. How else were they going to get an under-7,000 yard course be as brutal as they desire a US Open course to be? Especially since all the rain took the bite out of the greens. It was the only technique they had left, or else the winning score would have been ridiculously low.

post #607 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchshot View Post


I enjoyed it, I'm sick of birdie fest all the time...

Nice watching the guys with the best shots win...

 

Same here. We have almost every tournament won under par and we only have just this tournament where players struggle significantly. I wish we had more difficult tournaments on the PGA Tour to watch, but I think a lot of players would probably quit and join the Euro tour. 

post #608 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPMPIRE View Post

Same here. We have almost every tournament won under par and we only have just this tournament where players struggle significantly. I wish we had more difficult tournaments on the PGA Tour to watch, but I think a lot of players would probably quit and join the Euro tour. 

I would highly doubt that.  I don't think the players play the PGA tour because the courses are easy, but rather because that's where the most money and best competition is.  Harder courses leading to higher scores isn't going to bring purses down.

 

I think that its an effort to set up the courses hard enough to bring down the scores and only the USGA cares enough to do so.  And like I said before even they "cheat" to do it.  By that, I mean they oftentimes take the shortest par 5 (2 at Pebble, for example, or 6 at Torrey) and just call it a par 4.  Voila, now you guys are, for all intents and purposes, starting the tournament at +4.

post #609 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I would highly doubt that.  I don't think the players play the PGA tour because the courses are easy, but rather because that's where the most money and best competition is.  Harder courses leading to higher scores isn't going to bring purses down.

 

I think that its an effort to set up the courses hard enough to bring down the scores and only the USGA cares enough to do so.  And like I said before even they "cheat" to do it.  By that, I mean they oftentimes take the shortest par 5 (2 at Pebble, for example, or 6 at Torrey) and just call it a par 4.  Voila, now you guys are, for all intents and purposes, starting the tournament at +4.

I agree, pro golfers play the PGA Tour because they have biggest purses, better television coverage (higher endorsement deals) and are perceived by many to offer the toughest competition. 

 

I get what the USGA attempts to do for the U.S. Open but the difficulty this week at Merion seemed a bit artificial.  The general concern on Thursday was that the rain was going to make Merion defenseless but in looking at the scores from Thursday and Friday that was hardly the case.  Did the rain unexpectedly help protect the course or would we have been looking at +5 or higher for the winner had it not rained those days?  

 

The USTA doesn't jack up the different surfaces or change the court dimensions for the tennis majors nor does the NBA raise the hoop height for the NBA finals.  I think the fact you have the best golfers gathered on one course makes it compelling, there's no need to boost the difficulty to the degree they do.   Part me of enjoyed watching the pro's struggle a bit, but another part made me wonder if there was a greater component of luck in winning this week as compared to other weeks. 

post #610 of 685

I wasn't too concerned with USGA's setup. I like the long rough, but as stated prior, having a good tee shot roll through a fairway into the rough isn't fair. And I felt some of the pin locations were borderline. But overall, I think they did a pretty good job.

post #611 of 685

Interesting piece about the "logistics" at Merion.

 

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/page/usopenreilly130613/sure-merion-quaint-a-good-thing

 

IMO, Merion is a great golf course. I have played it many times, the property is about the same size as my home course and I have found that the greens are the distinctive difference from my course (Whitemarsh Valley, built in 1908 by George Thomas). The PGA had an event at my course for 18 years but the idea of having a PGA event there now, and particularly a Major, is laughable for multiple reasons. But I can tell you that the USGA could trick it up to the point that they could protect the score, maybe not to the level of Merion because of their greens, but they could make it tough. Narrowing the fairways, eliminating the first cut, stimping the greens well into the teens,making the long holes longer, the USGA can make any great old course tough. I can identify a dozen in the Philly region that fit this profile. But by doing so, they are changing the intent of the original designs. I don't think Hugh Wilson intended for the third hole at Merion to be a par 3 hole where great players have to hit driver, like Luke Donald had to do on Sunday. The fifth hole was built with that left canter all the way throuhg the hole, but there is supposed to be a decent stand of rough before the creek, not just a few yards.  I don't understand why par is so important to these people. Seeing the best players in the world come through 17 on Sunday with numbers like +14, +15, +16 and +17 was absurd. Sometimes I think that they are not identifying the best player, just the luckiest.

 

JMO.

post #612 of 685
Quote:
Originally Posted by phan52 View Post

Interesting piece about the "logistics" at Merion.

 

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/page/usopenreilly130613/sure-merion-quaint-a-good-thing

 

IMO, Merion is a great golf course. I have played it many times, the property is about the same size as my home course and I have found that the greens are the distinctive difference from my course (Whitemarsh Valley, built in 1908 by George Thomas). The PGA had an event at my course for 18 years but the idea of having a PGA event there now, and particularly a Major, is laughable for multiple reasons. But I can tell you that the USGA could trick it up to the point that they could protect the score, maybe not to the level of Merion because of their greens, but they could make it tough. Narrowing the fairways, eliminating the first cut, stimping the greens well into the teens,making the long holes longer, the USGA can make any great old course tough. I can identify a dozen in the Philly region that fit this profile. But by doing so, they are changing the intent of the original designs. I don't think Hugh Wilson intended for the third hole at Merion to be a par 3 hole where great players have to hit driver, like Luke Donald had to do on Sunday. The fifth hole was built with that left canter all the way throuhg the hole, but there is supposed to be a decent stand of rough before the creek, not just a few yards.  I don't understand why par is so important to these people. Seeing the best players in the world come through 17 on Sunday with numbers like +14, +15, +16 and +17 was absurd. Sometimes I think that they are not identifying the best player, just the luckiest.

 

JMO.

 

Because that's what a US Open is. It goes back to when breaking par was a milestone, not something every player can do. I agree that the USGA walks a fine line between unfair and fair. I think Merion was very fair. If you hit good shots tee to green, you had opportunities, Phil had a ton. I think hitting driver on a par 3 is nuts, that is the only hole really were i didn't like the USGA set up. I think if you make it 230ish, force them to hit a long iron or hybrid, then that would make it a challenge, and reward a player with a good shot. For me, hitting driver on a par 3 is hoping for something good to happen instead of actually letting players achieve a good shot.

 

Look at it this year, 6 players had opportunity to post a score that would matter, i think that is a great number of players, and typical for a major. I usually like to see the US open at most -3, at worst +3, as the winning score. I think that's a fair test for the US open. which historically has always been the most grueling test of golf besides the maybe some of the british opens.

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