Redemption for the USGA?
Ridiculous rulings, calamitous courses and delusional decisions have sparked an annual tradition of complaining about the USGA prior the U.S. Open. However, this year has been lacking in moaning golfers. Just as millions of men, women & children around the world take to the golf course as a form of therapy, four rounds at Pebble Beach may be just the medicine to settle disgruntled Tour Pros.
The organisation needs redemption, and there is no better place to find redemption than this picturesque Oceanside course. Just please, please let Pebble Beach remain Pebble Beach.
What’s Been Said
Jack Nicklaus has labelled Tiger his personal favourite for the week. Sure, it’s just an opinion, but The Golden Bear knows a thing or two about golf.
The man himself claims that his strategy- unlike his body and his opponents- “hasn’t changed that much” from his legendary 15-stroke win here in 2000.
Tiger’s playing partner, Justin Rose, believes the key to any U.S. Open is not compounding errors, saying “It’s about not making doubles and triples in a U.S. Open” because “birdies are hard to find.”
Several “experts” believe this is a tougher test for Brooks Koepka than any of his Major wins, with Rich Beem describing Pebble Beach as “significantly different” to any of the courses he’s won on.
“I think, big picture, you still had the right champions every single time.” Jordan Spieth said when discussing the USGA controversies of recent years. The Texan had not been shy in criticising decisions in the past, so perhaps this is a sign of a new tune from the players.
It’s All So Obvious
When trying to predict any golf tournament, you’re usually looking at who has a strong case for winning. It’s quite rare for there to be an obvious candidate, especially in a Major. The 2019 U.S. Open almost offers too many obvious candidates. Brooks Koepka has won the last two, as well as the last two PGA Championships. Dustin Johnson is World No. 1 and a U.S. Open Champion. Rory McIlroy just won by seven shots in Canada. Jordan Spieth is a serial Major winner and is bang in form. Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes here in the 2000 U.S. Open.
You find yourself desperately and unsuccessfully scrambling for a reason that half the field won’t win. There are too many “obvious” winners. To bet on one of them would be to bet against the rest, and that would be simply ludicrous.
Patrick Cantlay and Matt Kuchar have emerged as potential candidates due to their supreme bogey avoidance, but it seems unlikely that this will play as big a role at Pebble Beach as previous years.
If the USGA can’t get it right at Pebble Beach with perhaps the greatest and deepest pool of talent ever, they never will.
I expect to see a display of great golf on a great golf course. It’s as simple as that.
Written by Joe Carabini