US Open’s debut in the Northeast ~
I have been waiting for this event since the Masters Championship ended. Don’t get me wrong, there have been several notable events take place in the interim, but the second major golf championship of the season is finally here. Our country’s national championship and most prestigious of events is here. I will probably get some arguments about that one.
No Invitation Required
One of the great and most significant attributes this championship represents is that it is an Open event, i.e. open to anyone that can qualify, be it amateur or professional, (no invitation required). If you have the game and the ability to control your mind under the pressure, anyone can play. Ask Francis Ouimet.
Another significant aspect of this event is that the US Open is sponsored and administered by the USGA. They don’t mess around and are all business. The USGA sets all of their tournaments up to test the skill of the participants, i.e. they want the best player to rise to the top. Usually this translates into narrow fairways, tall and unforgiving rough, fast and undulating greens and typically a long and arduous journey. What ever the USGA can do to make a golf course more difficult, that is their task. Of course their response is that their tournament conditions are always fair. I guess we could ask John Daly about that one. The tournament is usually won with a score of par or one or two under par. In addition there are usually only one or two golfers around that number.
Moreover the US Open is our country’s National Title. I have a close relative who won 5 National Titles, albeit in another sport. Theoretically that means the winner is the best player in the country at that particular time. Of course today there are numerous international players that qualify from an assortment of standards, but that only helps the quality of play and depth of the game overall.
Finally another interesting quality of this championship is that it is always played on a different course from year to year. There are several courses that have hosted the event over the years numerous times, but they are never used from one year to the next. Oakmont in Pennsylvania has hosted the tournament 8 times, most recently in 1994, and will again in 1916. Oakland Hills in Michigan is runner up with 6 events and Baltusrol in New Jersey comes in 3rd holding the event 7 times, but not all on the same course.
Our country’s first US Open was played in 1895 and was won by an Englishman, a 21 year old named Horace Rawlins. Actually the U.S. Open was dominated by British players until 1911 when the first American player John McDermott took the prize. Interestingly John is also the youngest player to ever win the title at age 19. Other notable players that have won the title numerous times include Willie Anderson, Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus all winning the title 4 times. Hale Irwin is the oldest player to ever win the championship at age 45.
It will be interesting to see how Chambers Bay in Washington state holds up. From what I have heard a player will be lucky to find a level lie in the fairway. The course is a links style layout and from what I have seen looks similar to a number of British courses. From the pictures the rough does not look like a dense sumptuous green grass rough, but a whispy type of seaside grass. There also looks to be numerous bunkers both green-side and fairway bound with penalizing attributes. I will assume the USGA has glassed the greens to USGA standards, but I am not familiar with their size nor their undulation.
begin tomorrow although I would hope many of our American players have been practicing there for the last week. I heard Phil Mickelson speak today after his promising round at the St. Jude tournament informing us that he will be there tomorrow. He mentioned that it was a new course for all the players and that this would pose numerous problems. He did mention that he had figured out where he wanted to play on each hole, but as we all know golf rarely goes according to plan. Phil has scored 6 second place finishes in U.S. Open events and is the only Major he has not won. I will be pulling for him although his competition is VERY stiff.
Thanks for the read and as always please comment, share, plus, and like to help my SERP’s. Cheers!