SA golfers flabbergasted by poor US Open conditions

SA golfers flabbergasted by poor US Open conditions

Branden Grace of South Africa reacts to a birdie attempt on the 11th green during the second round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 15, 2018 in Southampton, New York. Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images/AFP

Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace furious at the organisers as their aim to create ‘the ultimate test’ backfires.

South Africa’s representatives at the US Open arguably underperformed at Shinnecock Hills this past weekend but the two best finishers, Louis Oosthuizen (16th) and Branden Grace (25th) were nonetheless very unhappy with the condition of the greens.

The United States Golf Association (USGA) had earlier in the week admitted that they wanted to create the “ultimate test” for golfers by strategically placing the pins in challenging spots on the greens.

However, the windy conditions dried out the greens and made it virtually impossible to card low scores.

It was particularly bad during Saturday’s third round.

“Obviously they got it completely wrong (on Saturday),” Oosthuizen told Sport24.

“You don’t hear anyone saying ‘Sorry’, and they’re trying to make a bit of excuses. Every year we seem to play the US Open and something goes wrong. They need to look at that and do a better job.”

Grace was particularly frustrated by the fact that this wasn’t the first time the US Open had been dogged by iffy greens, noting that Shinnecock Hills was criticised for the same thing when it last hosted the major tournament in 2004.

Ironically, that was the last time a South African – Retief Goosen – walked away with the title.

“In 2004, the same thing happened. This year they said, ‘It’s not going to happen and that they got everything under control’ and then it happened again,” said Grace.

“It’s tough and it’s really hard and then you get things like today where a couple of guys played badly when they play earlier and they go out there with more of a get-able golf course and you can shoot five or six-under, and you have a chance to win. A Major shouldn’t be like that, the guys who’ve played badly should be out of it. It’s the guy who grinds it out the best and that’s something that’s obviously lacking this week, I think.”




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