“US Open Golf-Great-Different Grand Slam?”
The Grand Slam of Golf. Something special, with different meaning, depending where you are.
Golf. The gentleman’s game can take a toll, in a wide variety of ways.
They tee off at the US Open on Thursday in Erin HIlls, Wisconsin. A golf course that plays long, 7,700 yards, and will play even longer because there has been so much rain in the upper midwest.
The US Open, very different than the others, christened in 1895, in Newport, Rhode Island, with a limited field of pros..
The Masters is all about the beauty of Augusta, a tourney that had its birth in 1934.
The British Open, in England, Scotland, Ireland, first teed off back in 1860 at Prestwick. That first tourney contained just 8-golfers in all.
The US Open is all about ‘protecting the integrity of par’. The golf course becomes an obstacle course.
These tourney break a golfer’s spirit, bust up clubs, and often break the hearts of the guys atop the leaderboard. Add in weather, and there are many brutal days, many high scores in the tourney.
The Masters is all about beauty and the memories of very special players, in what is a very special week at Augusta.
The British Open is about history on so many courses. It’s the big names of all years. The picture book sightlines, the buildings. The wind, the weather, the prestige.
Oakmont, just outside Pittsburgh, has hosted our Open 9-times in a storied career. It’s history never to be forgotten. But now places like Bethpage Black, Shinnecock and Medinah are held with reverence too.
Jack Nicklaus raised the US Open trophy 4-times in his life.
The late Arnold Palmer won it just once, but none can ever forget the fueled fan rivalry of the Golden Bear and Arnie’s Army, parading up and down the fairways, on any final Sunday in June in the tourney.
Of all the majors (14) Tiger Woods won, he took home the US hardware just twice in his career.
Yesteryear’s Ben Hogan won it 3-times in a different era of style, equipment, and course layout.
Our own Billy Casper was a two time winner.
And Phil Mickelson has accomplished so much, but not on US Open’s final Sundays. He’s never won, but finished second 6-times.
Anyone could win this one this weekend. Maybe a repeat from Dustin Johnson. But there is no one really dominant on the tour. Injuries, illness, and a competitive field have changed its face.
The pressure to win the US Open pales in comparison to Augusta and the British. It just does not seem to held in the same global esteem as the Masters, or playing at Turnberry, Troon, Royal St Lytham or others abroad.
It’s going to be fun to watch, probably not fun to play.
The US Open-it’s great-it’s different-it’s just a tough tourney to survive.
A Grand Slam event, on a loaded course, that usually humbles and conquers golfers. See the high rough. Look at slick greens. Can you believe the pin placements? Oh those tight fairways. Tee to green and lots of trouble in between.
Come 7pm on Sunday, somebody will be atop the leader board, not so much a winner, but a survivor of the obstacle course-the so called Erin Hills golf course.
The US Open, great to watch. Not so great to play.