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Friday, February 22, 2019

Zach Johnson critical of US Open: ‘They’ve lost the course’

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson was critical of the US Open course after shooting 2-over 72 on Saturday at Shinnecock Hills.

The two-time major winner said after his round that “they’ve lost the course.”

“It’s pretty much gone. The latter part of the day for us is pretty much shot, which is unfortunate. It’s in my opinion some of the best land and certainly one of the best venues in all of golf. Shinnecock Hills is beautiful, but unfortunately, they’ve lost the golf course,” Johnson said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“I feel for the membership right now. I feel for the spectators who are seeing absolute pure carnage, unless they want to. I feel for the USGA because I don’t think that was their overall intent from the very beginning.

“When it comes to things that happen in the past, you got to err on the side of a conservative approach. And that wasn’t done today.”

“It’s too dismissive,” former USGA director David Fay said on the FOX telecast in response to Johnson’s comments. “It’s close to the edge, it’s not what it was in 2004. The greens are a little softer. It’s difficult — a course like this.”

The wind at the course has made conditions tough both on Thursday and Saturday. Some of the best golfers in the world — Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Jason Day — failed to make the cut. Phil Mickelson carded an 81 on Saturday and was so frustrated he pulled a little kid move on the course.

The references to 2004 have to do with the last time the US Open was played at Shinnecock Hills. The conditions were so poor that they even had to water greens during play that were so baked out — something Mickelson referenced before the tournament.

Shinnecock Hills was already under the microscope prior to this event, and in the eyes of many, they’ve failed.

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