The 2006 U.S. Open - The Long Hot Grind Begins
Today's piece for Cybergolf will be up shortly.
Here are some snippets. Click on www.cybergolf.com for the rest:
On the tournament in general:
The U.S. Open is not a rock concert. Instead, players will be walking on eggshells, tightroping around a minefield of unexploded double bogeys. Fans will be on edge for a number of reasons. On one hand they’ll be absolutely riveted to the action in the hope of fireworks that so seldom come Open week due to the difficult course setup. On the other hand, they’ll be watching to see which societal profile
No, the U.S. Open is a crucible. The greedy, careless, reckless, unfocused and otherwise unworthy players are gobbled up early and with ruthless efficiency. The U.S. Open does not suffer fools lightly.
Consider the following figures. In 2005 there were 51% fewer birdies, 67% fewer eagles and 25% fewer pars at the U.S. Open than the three other majors. The U.S. Open has fewest eagles, birdies, and pars of all four of the majors and the highest scoring average to par – plus 4.1.
Have you seen players’ faces when they fall out of contention on Sunday? Where they were once sporting proud, furrowed brows and steely gazes, faces full of conviction, four hours later the long hot grind over dark bloody ground has shrunk the same faces, stressed them, weathered them, eroded them. Sometimes, when players break, they break hard and jagged. For them, the conscious effort to merely play out the string is nothing more than the robotic movements of a man in a freefall off the leaderboard.On what the players are thinking:
With this devastating fusion of speed and contour, greenside trouble at Winged Foot is much more severe than anything else the players will see all year. Players that short side themselves will often be grateful to two-putt what’s left. Consider this – last week at the Barclay’s, Adam Scott holed out an astonishing five times from off the green – each time between 20 and 99 yards.
Nobody has a chance of doing that this week.
If Winged Foot wants to crush you, it only need roll over in its sleep. And when Winged Foot is awake, it is angry and it roars. Compared to Winged Foot, Attila the Hun was a Franciscan Friar.
Even the players tread lightly. When asked if Vijay would head right to Winged Foot after winning at
The USGA should be credited for trying to foster a family oriented product instead of a crazy beer fueled orgiastic frenzy of drunken machismo. Too often members of the media unfairly brand them Luddites.
Maybe “everyone’s a member at
Hopefully Winged Foot and the USGA will keep the drunk crazies on a tight leash. This is our national championship, not the county fair. Such displays are anathema to a true sportsman’s soul. To their credit, while the 2002 fans were allowed to torture Sergio all around the golf course for the “sin” of daring to criticize Tiger Woods (talk about mob justice), in 2003, the USGA was quick to act removing the fan who heckled Vijay Singh.
He was gone after strike one.
At Pinehurst, it was a moot point.