USGA CEO admits US Open course was ‘too tough’
Even the USGA CEO is admitting that the course at Shinnecock Hills in New York was playing too hard on Saturday at the US Open.
USGA CEO Mike Davis spoke with FOX after the completion of Saturday’s third round and addressed the biggest subject of debate: the course conditions. Davis said the course had gotten too tough.
“We want the US Open to be tough. We want it to be a complete test. But there is no doubt, if you look at how this morning played vs. this afternoon, it was a tale of two golf courses,” Davis said. “No doubt we would admit there were some aspects of this setup that went too far … well-executed shots were not only not rewarded, but in some cases they were penalized. We don’t want that.”
Davis says the area where they really screwed up was misjudging the wind.
“Frankly, we just missed it with the wind. It blew harder than we thought it was going to blow. And the greens got fast. The firmness was OK, but the speed was too much for the wind that we had.
“We would say it was a very tough test but probably too tough this afternoon,” he ultimately concluded.
This is a response that would probably leave many players satisfied. The course already had claimed many of the world’s top players who did not make the cut. Then you had Phil Mickelson shoot a career major-worst 81 on Saturday and commit a serious penalty that had everyone talking. Rickie Fowler shot an 84. Leader Dustin Johnson only had one birdie Saturday and especially struggled on the front nine.
The most critical comments came from Zach Johnson, who said that the USGA had lost the course.
Brooks Koepka, who is tied for the lead, said he hoped they would water the greens plenty ahead of Sunday’s final round. It seems they may take his advice.