U.S. Open At Pebble Beach Marks Important Week For USGA
The U.S. Open teed off this morning at Pebble Beach, and the USGA "might be under as much pressure as any of the competitors this week," as the story around the last four U.S. Opens has been "as much about the management of the tournament as it has been the shots by the players in the field," according to Josh Dubow of the AP. USGA CEO Mike Davis said, "It is not lost on us this is an important week, not only for golf, this is an important week for the USGA." Dubow noted the USGA has "spent extra time leading up to this year’s tournament talking to dozens of players about how best to lay out the course so it can still achieve the goal of being the 'toughest test' in golf, while not crossing the line and being unfair to the players" (AP, 6/12). GOLFCHANNEL.com's Ryan Lavner noted USGA Senior Managing Dir of Championships John Bodenhamer is "now responsible" for overseeing tournament setup, and he has "admitted that it’s 'critical' to have a smooth week." Bodenhamer: "We feel good about what you see on the golf course and what we’re going to present to the players as a tough but true test" (GOLFCHANNEL.com, 6/12).
WORKING IT OUT: GOLF.com's Josh Berhow noted former PGA Tour player Jason Gore was hired earlier this year by the USGA as a "liaison to work with players," and Bodenhamer and Davis have "praised his contributions." Bodenhamer "didn’t say that their philosophy has changed when it comes to setting up the national championship." But he did say that "safeguards are now in place." Unless weather "wreaks havoc there will be few excuses this week" (GOLF.com, 6/12).
NATIONAL TREASURE: On Long Island, Mark Herrmann notes the USGA has set up Pebble Beach in "traditional Open fashion: a classic course with good old fashioned, thick rough" (NEWSDAY, 6/13). In Toronto, Jon McCarthy writes to the USGA’s credit, there has been "less talk this week ... about what might go wrong than usual." McCarthy: "Who could screw up Pebble Beach?" (TORONTO SUN, 6/13). The AP's Doug Ferguson writes Pebble Beach is, "quite possibly, the quintessential U.S. Open venue -- its gorgeous seaside settings steeped in history," its list of champions a "veritable Mount Rushmore of golf" (AP, 6/13). GOLF DIGEST's Dave Kindred wrote under the header, "There's Nothing Wrong With The U.S. Open That Pebble Beach Can't Solve." The USGA does "many things well, and the thing they do best is bring their ultimate competition to the Pebble Beach Golf Links" (GOLFDIGEST.com, 6/12).