It’s the U.S. Carnage Open. The United States Golf Association must hold its course set-up meetings in dark basements, away from prying eyes, where committeemen can plot to humiliate the world’s finest golfers
Midway through the second round at the Olympic Club, the field was already 1084 shots over par – and getting worse. Now THAT’S not entertainment for the sell-out crowd of 35,000 a day.
Bizarrely, the players seem to be taking their spankings with the grace of Tom Brown. “It’s a fine line,” said Graeme McDowell at one over par. “The course is firm, but fair. But not a lot of fun.”
World No.1 Luke Donald (11 over par) and defending champion Rory McIlroy (10 over par) left San Francisco with their raw backsides handed to them in the car park as they waited for their taxis to the airport. “I didn’t play that badly but every mistake is magnified,” McIlroy said. “It’s a reminder that golf doesn’t always come easy.”
Last year, McIlroy won the U.S. Open scoring 16 under par at Congressional. The spectators roared their approval. This year they have nothing to cheer but plenty to groan about.
This is supposed to be fun. The USGA disagrees. “When it’s all said and done, we believe this week is more than just entertainment,” said USGA director Mike Davis, the man in charge of setting up the course.
Wrong, Mr Davis. This is ALL just entertainment. A silly game. It’s meant to be heaven, not purgatory. It’s making thousands of spectators in San Francisco and millions around the world fall asleep.
The USGA takes pleasure in calling their championship “the toughest test in golf”. That’s fine and dandy but it doesn’t have to also be “the silliest test in golf”.
Yes it’s fun to watch the game’s greatest players grind like the rest of us but not for four days in a row. How about having a tough nine and an easy nine? That way, the paying public would get to see attack and defence, glory and despair.
Now THAT’s proper entertainment. Are you listening, Mr Davis and the USGA? Probably not.