Blake’s Take: A (nearly) bird-free Open makes golf more enjoyable

COMMENTARY – Do you like it when the U.S. Open or any major championship is played around even par like it was this week or do you like it when the pros blow through the course like Rory McIlroy did last year?

In this year’s U.S Open, not one player finished under par. Webb Simpson won the tournament finishing at one-over par.

Two years ago Graeme McDowell won, finishing at even par at Pebble Beach and the year before that Lucas Glover won with a 4-under par winning score.

You only have to look back to 2007 to see what can happen when the course plays unfair. Angel Cabrera won the tournament, but Oakmont won the battle. Cabrera finished at 5-over par. Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk were tied for second at 6-over par. Golfers lucky enough to finish 11-over par finished in a tie for 10th place.

Coral Canyon Golf Course head pro Casey Fowles said he had mixed feelings about the difficult conditions laid out by the United States Golf Association at the U.S. Open.

“It’s tough,” he said. “I like it once a year when the winning score is around even par, but if I could pick the winning score, it would be two or three-under par.”

Fowles, who tried to qualify for the U.S. Open but came up just short in the Las Vegas sectional qualifier, elaborated on his feelings.

“I thought the course was fair, but I did not like the way the last few holes were set up,” he said. “I would have liked to see an easier pin placement on hole 17 and hole 18. Both guys were only one shot back, but I knew it was over because the pin placements were so difficult down the stretch. I would have liked to see the guys in the last few groups have a chance to make birdie to tie.”

I think the USGA did a great job, as they do most of the time. Since 2005, only three times has the winning score been under par – McIlroy at 16 under, Glover at 4 under, and Woods at 1 under at Torrey Pines in 2008.

If these guys are the best (and they are), a tough course will show us what they’re really made of.

Patrick Blake is a sports commentator and host of the Blake’s Take radio show. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News. For more SPORTS TALK, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @BlakesTake

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/kznusports

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

 

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