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The lottery of winning a major

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Iain Carter | 15:44 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2012

Webb Simpson became a thoroughly deserving winner of the US Open and the 15th different major champion in a row.

It is impossible to argue against the validity of the 26-year-old American's victory after consecutive closing rounds of 68 at the Olympic Club. It was a performance worthy of major success.

America's national championship was won by one of the country's finest players, one who came close to landing last year's PGA Tour money list. Make no mistake, he is a proper player.

But how fondly will we remember the 2012 US Open? It was a typically attritional test designed to wear down the world's best players rather than to inspire spectacular golf. They were lucky to land a winner of such pedigree.

The US Golf Association's Mike Davis has won many plaudits for his course set-up, and for introducing graded rough and tinkering with tee and pin positions in recent US Opens, but it feels as though his influence on proceedings went too far this time.

Locating the hole just four paces on to the front of the raised, unforgiving 18th green was his biggest mistake. If ever there was a move to make sure no one could clinch the title with final-hole heroics, this was it.

Like so many decent drives over the last four days, Graeme McDowell's tee shot at the last trundled off a sloping fairway by a matter of inches and sat down in the first cut of rough.

Webb Simpson saw off the challenge of Graeme McDowell to win his first major. Photo: Getty

Needing a birdie to force a play-off, he had a shade over 100 yards to the flag and no chance of getting anywhere close.

In that respect he was no different to you or me - we couldn't get it near the hole either - so how is that identifying the best players in the world? Hacker and hero left in the same boat of despair.

McDowell played a brilliant shot to 24 feet but it was never more than an outside chance that he would claim the birdie he so desperately required.

"I missed the fairway by a foot and my ball is sitting down in the right semi rough," the 2010 champion said. "I have no control to that front pin and I hit it as close as I possibly could."

In the final round that closing par four played a shade over 300 yards and yielded just six birdies. That's not much fare for the massed thousands around the closing green and the primetime millions watching on the east coast of America.

The trouble with the US Open is that it is too much about the course and not enough about the players.

The 99-yard shortening of the par-five 16th was another prime example from the final round.

Jim Furyk effectively blew it with a bogey six after a snap hooked drive off that tee. The American is blaming no one but himself and accepts it was the same for everyone, but still made a telling observation.

"I know the USGA gives us a memo saying that they play from multiple tees, but there is no way to prepare for 100 yards," the 2003 winner said.

"To get to a tee where the tee box is 100 yards up and the fairway makes a complete 'L' turn, I was unprepared and didn't know exactly where to hit the ball off the tee."

Players would not have hit that drive in practice, yet all of a sudden with three holes to go on a Sunday evening they are being asked to hit into the unknown.

It is as though the US Open and, to a lesser degree, the other majors feel they have to do something special to these courses to make them worthy of the elevated status enjoyed by the big four championships.

They seem to forget that work has already been done by the assembly of the strongest fields in the game. World rankings, tour results and a myriad exhaustive qualifying competitions and past glories ensure the right people are gathered to contest the biggest prizes.

So let them do so on a relatively level playing field. At the moment it is akin to assembling a field of thoroughbreds for the Derby and asking them to take on the Grand National course. The last one standing is the winner.

That was the case with Simpson and McDowell two years earlier. The wet conditions at Congressional a year ago meant a much fairer test, more birdies and the most talented player in the game, Rory McIlroy, streaking away from the field.

What's wrong with that? Why not let them go and play? Don't worry about where they finish in relation to par; let them flourish and let the guy with the lowest score win.

"Today was a grind; it was a slog," said McDowell after coming up a shot short of forcing a play-off.

It's important to point out this wasn't a complaint, rather an observation, and he went on to say he loves the challenge. "I'm not sure you can have your 'A' game on this golf course because it beats you up," he added.

"The fairways are elusive, the greens are rock hard and it's a tough test of golf - the toughest."

Four days of seeing balls bounding through unreceptive greens not designed to accommodate running approaches; players hitting and hoping from thick collars of rough; and shanking from plugged bunker lies was quite enough.

In such circumstances there's a real danger of the tournament turning into a lottery. No offence intended, but we were pretty close to either John Peterson (831 in the world) or the seriously unheralded Michael Thompson becoming US Open Champion.

To varying degrees all the majors are guilty of making their courses too difficult. It's the fallout from the perceived need to Tiger-proof after he ran away with the 1997 Masters.

But since the demise of Woods (he's back, he's not, he's back, he's not) the majors in general have largely failed to identify the best players in the world. Fifteen different winners in the last 15 majors threaten to devalue the currency of the biggest prizes because they are less likely to fall into the hands of the very special players.

The four World Golf Championships tournaments, with less penal course set-ups, have proved a far more accurate gauge of golfing supremacy.

In Simpson, Olympic Club managed to yield a quality winner but it felt as though it was more by luck than judgement.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    woohoo first comment! Good blog Iain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Ian good blog the US open is more about seeing the pro's struggle than a true reflection of the best player winning. The pro's cant really enjoy playing a course set up and tricked up as difficult as possible no fun in that.
    It was not as bad as Shinecock where the greens were a joke but if they had not watered the greens it could have been.

  • Comment number 3.

    Iain, I always look back at the 2008 Open at Birkdale as an example of a really brutal test of golf but a very fair one. The winning score was +3, and the runner-up was +7. But the margins of a good shot and a bad shot weren't so slim as at the US Open, you just had to hit quality shots and you would be rewarded.

    Would you agree therefore that the US Open, as you imply, is more luck-based, whereas the Open rewards the best player that week?

  • Comment number 4.

    At least THE OPEN will be a fair test though it will be a test of greens and fairways so strategy will be all important, I guess Tiger will possibly go with a controlled approach and keep the cover on the driver.
    Interesting that the majors keep being first time winners though Webb Simpson had a stella year last year and was possibly due a big win. Also I think(though not certain) that now makes two of the last three majors won with a long putter.

  • Comment number 5.

    Just read that Webb Simpson will more than likely miss the open due to pending second child shame.

  • Comment number 6.

    Have to say I do enjoy watching them struggle for once, though I was gutted that my favourite player (GMAC) didn't quite make it.

    Also disagree with Iain, it isn't becoming a lottery to win a major, its just there isn't a dominant player or even dominant players in the game at the minute.

  • Comment number 7.

    Gbell hi ya think Ian was more refering to the US open being a lottery and if the top players stuggled imagine playing that course yourself ,not much fun me thinks.

  • Comment number 8.

    Nice blog Ian, really good points made. I definitely agree that we need to see more top players winning majors like back in the good old days!

    I'm glad Olympic exposed Rory's very limited game and established Luke isn't the best; how hollow he must have felt finding out about his MBE!

    I genuinely feel that Els only winning three majors in his career is one of the biggest injustices to humanity since the war.

  • Comment number 9.

    If the US ga continue to trick the course up like they did this weekend they will if not careful end up like the masters a few years back where the atmosphere died and the pros started to complain that it was no fun. There is a fine line between a tough but fair challenge glad its not my job.

  • Comment number 10.

    Right, Here goes, I'll get your prediction league update out of the way, then a bit of fat chewing over the week that was.

    Firstly, nobody scored any points at all in the US Open.

    However the Week before saw some pretty big point scoring.

    Westwood = 10 pts
    Fisher = 5pts
    Garcia & Hanson = 3pts each

    And on the American side

    D Johnson = 10pts
    Palmer = 5pts.

    Scores for the last 2 weeks therefore look like this


    Maninasuitcase 28
    Yorkshire Blogster 28
    Mattefc 25
    Jimmy 16
    BMG 16
    8 for 6 for 1 15
    Cfcboy23 15
    Daveyboyfletcher 10
    Golden Bear 10
    Gbell 6
    Wibbliouswobblious 6

  • Comment number 11.

    The Mattefc Sponsored form table therefore looks like this (Only points from the last 5 weeks to score)


    8 for 6 for 1 55
    Mattefc 50
    Maninasuitcase 43
    Yorkshire Blogster 43
    Jimmy 41
    Cfcboy23 40
    Daveyboyfletcher 25
    BiloMct 25
    BMG 21
    Golden Bear 20
    Golfrants 20
    Wibbliouswobblious 16
    Gbell 11
    The Sorcerer 10
    Sumo82 10

  • Comment number 12.

    And finally the overall table.


    Jimmy 131
    8 for 6 for 1 120
    Daveyboyfletcher 116
    Mattefc 107
    Cfcboy23 105
    Maninasuitcase 92
    Gbell 86
    BiloMct 79
    Powerhitter 78
    The Sorcerer 70
    Yorkshire Blogster 67
    Golfrants 59
    BMG 55
    Sumo82 49
    Undersiege 46
    Rossji 40
    Lord Voldemort 39
    Wibbliouswobblious 34
    Diamondvneck 24
    Grover69 21
    Golden Bear 20
    Anglesdan 18
    Lovegolf 3
    The Lion 0
    Whycantihititstraight 0

  • Comment number 13.

    there's plenty of truth there Iain, but I know plenty of people who think that it is dull when an average tour event runs of into the teens or twenties under par, it makes a mockery of being tested.

    I don't want to see Rory win by so many shots at -16 or whatever he finished, you do want the majors to be tougher and to be around the level par mark, it's not meant to be easy, that's the difference.

    If the big guns can't handle themselves to deliver pars on most holes when guys like Peterson and Thompson can then they should have to look in the mirror, what do you learn from a guy who wins by whacking it down wide fairways onto soft wide greens with shallow bunkers and getting to -15? nothing.

    It's not like they weren't getting opportunities to score, they just didn't take their chances.

    Maybe it was a little bit too tough, but not by much, if you play well and consistently you win, birdie fests are boring and take away from the true essence of the competition, there's no excuse for Rory and Luke missing the cut so badly, it's the same for everybody out there, to be the best you have to beat the best everywhere.

    The US Open as the 4th major has always had something extra to prove. This week we saw an albatross, hole in one and a number of birdies, just not by players in contention.

    If we're going to complain because Rory, Luke and Phil can't manage their games or have the mental strength to find a way around tight courses and stay in contention then we have to question why the best players simply aren't good enough, or why they aren't tested enough in the majority of tournaments to ensure that they can deliver when it matters.

    Too many advisors, too many easy courses on the tour, too much talk, too much hype.

    Just get on with and play golf, if Webb could hit 2 68's and Thompson 66 & 67 then so can everybody.

  • Comment number 14.

    Good blog Iain. My only take on it is that only really once a year do they get put under severe mental pressure to this extent and it shows up the strongest players mentally. The players that are out of sorts or are not player with confidence get found out. I agree that the fairways and narrow and bouncy, the rough is tough and the greens are hard and difficult to hold, but there were a few shots that had nothing to do with that. Westwood was unlucky to lose his ball up a tree but he hit it off line. Thompsons tee shot at 18 with an iron was very poor. Furyk's wedge in at the last was a poor shot. All these shots had nothing to do with the course set up, it was down to pressure. Do I want to watch that every week? Def not but once or twice a year (our Open if the weather makes it a challenge) is pretty compulsive viewing for me....

  • Comment number 15.

    I much prefer to see all the players work exceptionally hard for the top prize than a major where the course is treated like a pitch and putt. I think that St Andrews [in good weather] is relatively easy. I mean, players were all driving the par four last hole. We do need a happy medium perhaps. However, a birdies and eagles-fest gets a bit silly too.
    As for 15 different winners of the last 15, to be fair to the 15 winners, most of them are star quality. McIlroy is quality. Kaymer is too though he hasn't kicked on from his USPGA win. Bubba Watson is a USA Ryder Cup player. Webb Simpson is quality. Schwartzel and Oosthuizen are very consistent golfers. The point has already been made, but with nobody monopolising the Majors at the moment, the different winners each time is likely to happen. It's no bad thing. The question is: which of the last 15 winners will be the first to grab a second major? Funnily enough Messrs Donlad, Kuchar, Fowler, Mahan, and Lee Bridesmaid are all due to be added to the list of different winners real soon!
    Finally, I noticed that Rob Hodgetts was predicting a Tiger victory by three shots back on Saturday. At the start of the final round, Mr Hodgetts was blithering on about Janzen winning with a big arrears in his final round as a means of deluding himself that Tiger had a big chance. Could Rob Hodgetts and several others stop the Tiger fixation. It's bordering on the tedious and so disrespectful to the genuine contenders. Well done to GMac by the way. He came close to ruining the 15 different winners argument.

  • Comment number 16.

    Web Simpson's quality will come out in what he does subsequently. My prediction will be that Web Simpson will talk about this Major victory as some kind of springboard to more victories, then he will essentially go backwards instead.

    As for Tiger, he is clearly back. A 2 time winner on the TOUR this year with probably more to come. His "demise" will be the talk of the town until he wins another major.

  • Comment number 17.

    @ 15

    But Woods DID have a decent chance going into Sunday. Certainly to say so wasn't 'delusional'. The opposite if anything - to pretty much rule him out would have been irrational. A 67 would have done it, play off anyway, and that wasn't remotely out of the question if he got his form of the first two days back. Just that he didn't.

    Good tournament, I thought. And a worthy winner. As for Lee Westwood, about the only bad shot he hits all day ends up stuck up a tree. That's him all over, isn't it? Really do hope he wins one of these things sometime soon.

  • Comment number 18.

    Totally agree with you Iain, it should be a test but not an endurance test.

  • Comment number 19.

    @BiloMct
    Thanks mate. What a brilliant snippet of info you posted last week- W. Simpson shot 65 in a practice round. We had a fiver on 12 players all over 66/1....Thanks to you, he was one. Who do you fancy for the British Open..??

    Felt sorry for Westward- all momentum was stopped. I read he is moving to Florida to live full time. That's a great move.

    Tiger just seems to play too slow for his own continuity. His putting was awful, nearly all short of the hole, with no chance of going in. Then came the excuses...always in-between clubs etc etc.

    The winner scored more birdies than anyone else in four days. He could progress into a special player. One that has great manners, and doesn't keep cursing, when things don't go his way. I would call him a very special person already Iain.

  • Comment number 20.

    I look at virtually all those golfers and there doesn't appear to be one that can consistantly hit a ball straight off the tee. They seem so intent on doing fancy draws and fades that the basic golf shot appears to have been forgotten. Gmac may complain about the last but he forgets about all the other shots that went flying directly in to the rough.

    Target golf may look good on paper but yesterday's "fight" was far more enjoyable and exciting. Time for the big names to get off their backsides and start earning the big reputations they seem to think they have a God given right to.

  • Comment number 21.

    The results seem to correctly indicate that there is no one dominant player out there right now. A quick look at the leaderboard shows that many top players in the world were in fact well represented: Furyk, Harrington, Els, Goosen, Woods, Scott....as well as fresh new faces including Simpson, Dufner, Kucher and Colsaerts were all within striking distance. Watching players grind may not be your preference, but it's ridiculous to imply the course isnt fair unless your favourites win. As for Mcdowell, he misread the critical putt on 18....

  • Comment number 22.

    A good blog Iain. I was having a similar conversation with someone the other day. I think your point about GMac's wedge (100 yards and you would have had the same chance as him of getting it close) is really valid.

    The way they set ther course up it seems to mean that you have to hit a perfect shot to be in position, whereas a 99% shot has the same result as say a 50% shot. Muck or nettles as my dad used to say.

    This seems to be an issue with the US Open in particular, but is true for the Masters and the PGA to some extent (and the Open at Carnoustie in 99 where the rough was hideous).

    I thought they had tackled it by having gradually more penal rough, but it seems not.

    I also agree Iain that the USGA seems to have an obsession with preventing under par scores. Why don't they just make the course a par 68 and do it that way? It would be better than making it into a crazy golf contest.

    Making the course so hard means that the luckiest player - and not necessarily the best player - will win


    I do think though that the 15 different major winners in more due to the fact that there is no dominant player now like Tiger was, and that there are more up and comers who have a chance.

  • Comment number 23.

    It isn't a lottery; it is a 72 hole tournament played by a top quality field. The lowest score wins, by implication the best player that week coping with whatever test is set by the championship committee.

    What is not to like about this?

  • Comment number 24.

    Anyone care to crack the code? (hint: not that hard)

    29 8 111 108
    3 37 54 13
    69 71 33 110
    29 1 14 3
    56 41 10 1
    4 17 1 1
    2 80 1 4
    8 9 56 3

    PS: On GMac at the 18th yesterday, his cause may have been slightly helped had he hit the ball on the right side of the hole. To say that he misread that putt is a huge understatement.

  • Comment number 25.

    Iain, i think you've raised some interesting points, however I don't wholly agree that tough course set up is to blame for the great amount of first time Major winners, as FrGuido points out it is more to do with the lack of a truly dominant player or couple of players. It was a bad decision to place the pin where they did on 18, I think it was an overcompensation for the relative shortness for a closing par 4.
    I think Olympic was too front heavy with the first six holes the focal point, it is a peculiar course and its history of unheralded champions suggests more about the perhaps shortcomings of the course to produce top class winners than a general rule about all the Majors. It is a fair point that great champions and fine players have not been far from winning, perhaps with all the extra media scrutiny they feel the pressure a little more now. I don't want to claim that your article is a knee-jerk reaction because it's certainly an explanation for a curious run of different winners. I can understand it because I too had a slightly dissatisfied feeling at the end but I only have to think back to Pebble Beach and then Torrey Pines for examples of great courses, level par being golden and all the drama one could ask for.

    PS: We'll get a deserving champion golfer of the year at Lytham St Annes, i'm sure of that much

  • Comment number 26.

    @BMG

    Making the course so hard means that the luckiest player - and not necessarily the best player - will win

    Are you insinuating Simpson was a lucky winner..?? Come on....He hit more birdies than anyone. When he was 6 strokes back....He hit 4 birdies in 5 holes....That's a special golfer BMG....Hardly lucky.

    He’s currently leading the PGA tour in putting, which is a good way to win yourself a US Open if you hit the ball decently. The guy has a great temperament, did you see the way he handled the English drunken nutter at the trophy presentation ceremony?? The guy is unflappable..!! Credit where credit due me thinks.

  • Comment number 27.

    Sorry Iain but this is nonsense. Why does a difficult course blur the lines between more and less talented players? Because occasionally a good shot is not rewarded and therefore it's more about luck that skill? Nonsense! It's the less difficult course that cover up players' flaws and blur those lines. More difficult courses expose those flaws. If you can belt the ball 350 yards but with poor accuracy, the course should punish you, and a difficult course does. A difficult course much better separates the player who can hit the ball where he means to from the player who misses. On an easy course the player who misses can simply recover like it didn't happen. The real reason behind your statistical observation has been pointed out already by others: there's no dominant player in golf. Put another way, there are a lot of great golfers out there.

  • Comment number 28.

    @20. Where do you get the silly notion that the top players consider that they have some kind of god given right to their reputations? Its just daft talk, judging high profile players with half baked perceptions and nothing to back it up.

    you'd probably also find that the greats of yesteryear tended not to hit the ball straight, Nicklaus, Hogan, and Trevino for example were famous faders of the ball rather than attempting to just hit it straight. The fact is that its much easier to try to shape the ball than to try to eliminate all spin by hitting it dead straight.

    As for this particular US Open i dont really believe that the course was much more penal than it has been in previous years, a winning score of about level par seems to be about the mark, its part of what makes the US Open unique and for me personally makes for a nice change, but not how I would want to watch golf every week.@20. Where do you get the silly notion that the top players consider that they have some kind of god given right to their reputations? Its just daft talk, judging high profile players with half baked perceptions and nothing to back it up.

    you'd probably also find that the greats of yesteryear tended not to hit the ball straight, Nicklaus, Hogan, and Trevino for example were famous faders of the ball rather than attempting to just hit it straight. The fact is that its much easier to try to shape the ball than to try to eliminate all spin by hitting it dead straight.

    As for this particular US Open i dont really believe that the course was much more penal than it has been in previous years, a winning score of about level par seems to be about the mark, its part of what makes the US Open unique and for me personally makes for a nice change, but not how I would want to watch golf every week.

  • Comment number 29.

    Sorry, I just thought my post was so good that i just had to put it twice

  • Comment number 30.

    Look at the Wells fargo Championship. That's an easier course. (10 under par was good enough for 8th place this year.) In the 10 years that tournament has been played, you have 10 different winners. There's a lot of good golfers out there. It's always a lottery, but not because of the way the course is set up.

  • Comment number 31.

    Some of the points Ian made seem to have been a bit lost after reading it again he states Simpson was a worthy winner with two closing rounds of 68. He played the course the best at the weekend and slipped in under the radar.

  • Comment number 32.

    We Europeans have been moaning about the US Open for as long as I can remember. I actually think that that is unfair. It's a different challenge. The Masters is a challenge of mastering one tough course, the Open is about mastering links golf, the USPGA is about mastering parkland, target golf (usually). The US Open is about tough attritional golf, requiring accuracy. The majors are all designed to be different.

    Where Iain gets close to the mark is in highlighting Tiger Woods' effect on the game. But the issue is that course designers and set ups have decided that the way to respond is to lengthen courses. I'm not sure if that was to negate or to boost the talents of the games biggest draw, but it's made a lot of tournaments less skill based, except for the skill of driving a golf ball.

    Golf have always thrown up more unlikely winners of majors than other solo sports, think BobTway or Andy Bean or Paul Lawrie, to name but 3. It's true that right now there is no dominant player. It's like the late 80s early 90s again. I remember a period when Tom Kite was the top US player, but had won no majors. It's quite similar now I think.

  • Comment number 33.

    I liked your article but what we saw was the top players in the world,scratching there collective heads,some of them played the same approach shots to the same holes on all four days even though every shot went down a hill or in the bunker,I expected better from them ,I have no problem with the winner carding one over,seems like he kept his head while the big names lost theres

  • Comment number 34.

    19.
    At 19:06 18th Jun 2012, buyronnelson wrote:

    @BiloMct
    Thanks mate. What a brilliant snippet of info you posted last week- W. Simpson shot 65 in a practice round. We had a fiver on 12 players all over 66/1....Thanks to you, he was one. Who do you fancy for the British Open..??

    No Sweat mate. If you look back over Iain's blogs the last 3 years i am constantly tipping winners. Mr Webb netted me £400 too which was nice.

  • Comment number 35.

    Did any other regular bloggers notice my Webb Simpson tip or are you too busy thinking BiloMcT talks nonsense and not reading my posts?!
    i think inbetween a lot of nonsense talk about Lee Westwood, belly Putters and John Hawksworth it is very clear i am the most knowledgable golfer on here

  • Comment number 36.

    I propose myself as Head Blogger instead of jimmy. I would like LordVoldemort to be my assistant. Those in favour say 'Aye'

  • Comment number 37.

    @35

    Just a shame your NOT the best golfer on here :-)

  • Comment number 38.

    A tournament attended by all the best players in the world but won by a nobody on a regular basis is probably putting too much emphasis on luck - though I'd give the Open more leeway on this criterion as links golf naturally introduces a bit more luck into the equation.

    So what tournament really has this problem? I would say only the US Open, yet recent US Opens have been won by quality players, not just the guy who happened to get the benign conditions on each day, as happened for instance when Oosthuizen won the Open.

    In conclusion, Iain's article is valid, but he's chosen a bad time to write it, as recent history is not in his favour. And as others have noted, there are some very good golfers out there with no Majors to their name, so the sequence of different winners, already at 15, may still have some way to run.

  • Comment number 39.

    @35/36

    NAY

    Bilo Get the golf day organised and I may make you honuary class clown ;-)

  • Comment number 40.

    @ maninasuitcase....see the FB page....i'm trying to sort it out!

  • Comment number 41.

    Iain a very interesting blog,with which I mostly agree BUT we are talking about the best players in the world.
    Surely they should know they will get punished for hitting bad shots and that you have to keep it on the short stuff,although I would have loved LW to have won from the golf I did see he was not his usual accurate self of fthe tee or onto the green yet he putted very well.

    Did the winner use his driver on a regular occurance ? or opt for a 3 wood/iron to keep the ball in play ? this is where you make your score at the US Open ,not by being the best putter (although it does help)but by being able to hit your second shot knowing you have some control and hitting the green

  • Comment number 42.

    Great blog, lots of differing opinions and discussions are testament to that.

    As for my two pence, I don't mind the US Open being an attritional test, no other tournament like it in the world and I don't mind seeing the greatest players struggle, but don't forget in and amongst the unfair bounces and seemingly impossible shots there was some world class golf on display.

    That doesn't mean it's everyone's cup of tea, or that everyone has to enjoy it, however not everyone enjoys watching links golf, yet I find it the purest and most enjoyable form of the game.

    That is the beauty of golf.

    Nobody was complaining when Clarke won the open, because he's ours and we love him, but I bet the yanks were saying it was a style of golf he was born and raised to play and it was impossible for Americans who are used to high balls flight and soft greens in general.

    I don't agree there can ever be a lucky winner of a major.over four rounds the best golfer of the week always wins, but it doesn't mean they are the best or near he best golfer in the world

  • Comment number 43.

    Not having access to a satellite TV at Good-Lord o'clock in the morning, I relied on the descriptions from the Radio 5 Live team. Can I just say that the coverage was exceptionally good and very enjoyable. Plenty of chortle chortles, gasps and hurrahs as well as edge of the seat cliff-hangers.

    I'm really getting to like this In-Bed-With-Iain-Carter lark, but I'm having an early night tonight. (Wipes cake crumbs from crocheted bedjacket, adjusts winceyette nightie and falls back onto pillows, snoring).

  • Comment number 44.

    Bill you should have listened to yourself and put him as one of your picks!!

  • Comment number 45.

    @35 Bilo...Dude, I've heard John Hawksworth is currently negotiating the steep downhill roads of San fran in a "cherry picker". Allegedly he's driving it to the Olympic course to try and find Lee's ball as them binoculars couldn't find the "beans"!!!

  • Comment number 46.

    Bilo comments on webb simpson required he uses a ping belly putter does that detrct from the win?

  • Comment number 47.

    Edith be careful you will excite a few on here don springs to mind talking of bedroom atire.
    Don I believe favours speedos and a bathrobe.

  • Comment number 48.

    Bilo as the self proclaimed new head blogger we need to see your golfing prowess especially the well executed 3 iron off a downhill lie over water and a bunker as evilas the road hole to a green the size of the postage stamp.

  • Comment number 49.

    Bilo I can think of a hole in leics that fits the bill you could come and show us how its done :)

  • Comment number 50.

    Good blog. I think this was a case of the us open over emphasising their usp. They set out to be hardest of the 4 majors just like the masters sets out to be a circus. I agree with other posters, hard golf can be fair. In my opinion if you play any classically designed course without artificially engineering the conditions you will get a hard fair competition most times. That's another reason why the open is the best.

  • Comment number 51.

    send me the details and ill come and play

  • Comment number 52.

    44.
    At 21:21 18th Jun 2012, yorkshire_blogster wrote:

    Bill you should have listened to yourself and put him as one of your picks!!

    Bill?

    eh i did pick him in a proper Bet! not the silly prediction league!

  • Comment number 53.

    No Iain. Anyone can win the lottery but not many people can win a major. Just a few hundred are good enough. Anyway, another epic choke from Els and Furyk this time. Mcdowell, not a choke just came up short with too many little errors but a good tournament.

  • Comment number 54.

    Young "gags", sorry Rors, effectively had no chance to win last week. In his pre tournament interview he said..."I'm just going to attack the golf course", total disrespect to a proper US OPEN set up (not the soft conditions of 2011!!)... Gmac said, after watching Tiger's first round "That's how to get it done".
    The moral of the story is, that's what seperates the best from the good!!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    Ian, I do not have Sky and tuned in to Radio 5 on Sat night at 10pm. I switched off at 10.20 in disgust. You had failed to talk about any other golfer than you know who, the state of the tournament did not merit a mention in your view, shame on you. Do you not feel you have a duty to the licence payers to report on what is going on? Don't be a sheep and follow the mindless herd, stand up and be a journalist man!
    People say you either love or hate TW, well I am neither. He was incredible a few years back but can longer keep it going for four rounds. Treat him as any other golfer and stop taking up valuable air time banging on about the latest comeback. There was much to talk about in this tournament, Sergio, Ernie, Padraig as well as Furyk and MacD - you ignored them all. How could you?, how dare you? We deserve better, I hope you improve at the Open.

  • Comment number 56.

    iain...yes, it was tough and yes, it was brutal but what do you want, a walk in the park?!

    what's more, it was tough and brutal for everybody, including simpson so, please, less of the 'more by luck than judgement'...you don't close out the toughest of the 4 majors with 68/68 by getting lucky...you do so by playing exceptional golf under the very toughest physical and mental pressure...give credit where it's due

    can't help thinking, if westwood had done the job, many of the bloggers would be singing a different tune!

  • Comment number 57.

    The question really is, what value are world rankings in golf, other than determining invites for tournaments? 15 different major winners in a row, yet regular number ones Westwood and Donald haven't won one ever. In tennis Wozniacki was widely ridiculed as a weak number one for having never won a major, and despite what people may argue about consistency being a skill, its true for most fans - no-one deserves no.1 status if they can't win any of the 4 largest tournaments in their sport, at least once.

    There has to be more emphasis put on points for winning a major than just grinding out results across the globe in other tournaments. Otherwise slowly but surely majors will lose their lustre and a generation of consistent but dull golfers will dominate the world rankings (and therefore Ryder Cups and other tournaments) because of their willingness to play as many tournaments as possible. After a while the entire Top 10 could be filled by the most travel-happy, safe, solid players. And the number one slot, once only the domain of a Faldo, Seve, Norman or Woods, will pass regularly between numerous journeymen. Rankings need more focus on the majors!!

  • Comment number 58.

    spaced invader [#57]...a man after my heart...couldn't agree more!

  • Comment number 59.

    I'm a hacker and face these challenges every time I step onto a new course! Sorry, but I'm not that sympathetic. The last time I played a new course, I hit a drive onto the fairway but it took a sideways bounce and ended up out of bounds by 6 inches. Unfair or what? The out of bounds line was right by the short grass! Two 68's - Webb Simpson was outstanding.

  • Comment number 60.

    I thought this was a very good championship although I agree that the 18th was too hard yesterday. Furyk threw it away and he has only himself to blame. Hopefully the Open is just as tight and another European is near the top of the leaderboard.

    http://jedidiahgore.blogspot.it/2012/06/gripping-finale-to-2012-us-open-as-webb.html

  • Comment number 61.

    The trouble with the US Open is that it is too much about the course and not enough about the players.

    The 99-yard shortening of the par-five 16th was another prime example from the final round.

    Jim Furyk effectively blew it with a bogey six after a snap hooked drive off that tee. The American is blaming no one but himself and accepts it was the same for everyone, but still made a telling observation.

    "I know the USGA gives us a memo saying that they play from multiple tees, but there is no way to prepare for 100 yards," the 2003 winner said.

    "To get to a tee where the tee box is 100 yards up and the fairway makes a complete 'L' turn, I was unprepared and didn't know exactly where to hit the ball off the tee."

    Players would not have hit that drive in practice, yet all of a sudden with three holes to go on a Sunday evening they are being asked to hit into the unknown.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above is all a bit wishy washy. Golf is a game of numbers. They clearly show 16 of the top 18 finishers, either par or better on the 16th hole Iain. One cannot make a good blog with Duff stats (sorry could not resist).

  • Comment number 62.

    A couple of things. First, the Olympic club course isn't that long at around 7100 yards, but it's longish for a par 70. Several of the par 4s would have been par 5s in the past, so the "under par" thing is all a bit artificial.

    Nor am I sure what the problem is with tees moving up and down, leaving players to rely a little more on feel and intuition than mere yardage charts. I'd imagine the best players are likelier to revel in that. A strong wind from an unusual direction might have the same effect anyway.

    But I do like short driveable par 4s, which seem to be in fashion. The 18th on the Old Course is now being recognised as a great finish, a potential 2 or a possible 5, but I agree the flag must be in the right place, esp. on the final day.

  • Comment number 63.

    I really think this blog was very thought provoking and really it is difficult not to wonder why so many of the greatest players today all failed to perform at their best.
    Listening to the players themselves and they are by no means complainers , they feel the course does not allow the best golf to consistently show.
    Maybe if all the players had the opportunity to practise more on it they could adjust but as conditions are as equal as can be then thats that . As we know luck certainly does play a role often as weather conditions and wind are changeable .

    Nevertheless I enjoyed your comments esp as I shut the sound off watching the open, cannot stand listening to the commentators and was sorry GMAC did not repeat to upset them , but felt for Furyk , hes a hard worker and deserved to win , but Simpson is a worthy winner when all is said and done.

  • Comment number 64.

    @waldovski

    World ranking at the time of the winner of a major?

  • Comment number 65.

    "That was the case with Simpson and McDowell two years earlier. The wet conditions at Congressional a year ago meant a much fairer test, more birdies and the most talented player in the game, Rory McIlroy, streaking away from the field."

    IC wrote the above. Would like to comment on this and his following paragraphs.

    I personally thought that this was a horrible US Open.

    On Day 3, the course was definitely easier and softer. There were double the number of sub-par rounds in Day 3, compared with the combined number of sub-par rounds in Days 1 & 2. This was with half the players.

    Yet, one TW played his worst golf when the course was "easier". As did other top players. This contradicts IC's opinions.

    Found it really strange! I thought the idea was to have the course made gradually more difficult as the tournament progressed??? This definitely wasn't the case.

  • Comment number 66.

    26.buyronnelson "Are you insinuating Simpson was a lucky winner..??"

    No, I'm not, although it probably sounds like it. I actually haven't seen much of the coverage so I don't know how he played or if he was lucky.

    I guess what I meant is that it's more a case of other players that may have been 'unlucky' - to have hit good shots but to have been punished. So perhaps someone played as well or better than Simpson but lost by virtue of bad luck. Its something that golfers generally refuse to blame, but with the course set up on a knife edge like this, it brings luck more into it, and makes it a 'lottery'.

    So for instance, Player A hits a shot to 10 feet from the hole and it stays there. Player B hits one 6 feet away from yours and it rolls 50 feet away. Then Player C hits one 50 feet away and it stays there. Player B has hit a much better shot than Player C - nearer than player A - but ends up in the same spot as Player C.

  • Comment number 67.

    "63.At 04:39 19th Jun 2012, mrireland wrote:
    Listening to the players themselves and they are by no means complainers , they feel the course does not allow the best golf to consistently show."

    That's more or less what I meant. When the players - who almost never blame 'luck - make comments that the course is a lottery, that has to say something. They probably get fed up of hitting excellent shots and getting little reward.

    From the little I sawy, Furyk (whilst he played well) did make a couple of errors coming in and that's what lost it for him. I saw McDowell miss the fairway by literally 6 inches on 2 holes which quite probably cost him shots because it meant he could control the spin on his next shot.

    To use an analogy, I have played on a couple of really slopey courses where you hit your ball on the right edge of the fairway and it rolls all the way to the left. Then someone drives it 50 yards left of you and it ends up in the same spot. It feels a bit pointless.

  • Comment number 68.

    Iain, great blog and yo are absolutely correct - the US Open has become a lottery. I'd like to know how much TV time was devoted to Webb Simson, that alone should prove your point!

  • Comment number 69.

    #67

    That is why makes the us open the toughest mental challenge. To accept you are going to make 2-3 bogeys a round when as a pro they would want 4 bogey free rounds, must be very tough to handle, which is perhaps why beau hostler and Thompson did so well because they will have gone out without any pressure and will have expected to make bogeys.

    Also have to get their heads around the "unfair" bounces.

    The fact is every day someone shot a sub par round, so it could have been done.

  • Comment number 70.

    Ian, terrible blog, obviously written by a non-golfer.
    The US Open is brilliant and so are a lot of the 'Top Pro's' excuses.
    Fair play to Woods, McDowell and Mcilroy who all said it was tough and i didnt quite do enough. And Webb Simpson a lottery winner, he nearly won the Money List last year and is a shoe-in to win more majors. McDowell admitted his mistake on the last, he missed the fairway. Furyk's excuse about his horrendous hook is laughable. At the recent Powerade PGA Assistant Professionals championship, won by the brilliant Matt Cort, the East Sussex course had multiple tee's. The practice round was played off the very back pots, but come the tournament day the tee's were chopped and changed. Some by 65yards. You deal with the changes, get over it!!

  • Comment number 71.

    69 - you're right that it's the toughest mental challenge and whoever wins will have deserved it. It's a quesion of whether it's a fair challenge I suppose. When you hear so many of the top pros complain - something that most pro golfers very seldom do - you have to think there is something in it.

    I personally think the the USGA is trying to keep the 'USP' of the US Open as 'the toughest test in golf', and don't want to be usurped in that regard. The queston is whether they go too far. The most notorious case was in 98 when they put a pin right on a slope and Payne Stewart left his ball 3ft above it. He dribbled his putt which missed and ended up nearly off the green. Practically everyone felt that it was ridiculous.

  • Comment number 72.

    70 - Iain never said that Simpson was a lottery winner.

    He ends the blog with this: "In Simpson, Olympic Club managed to yield a quality winner but it felt as though it was more by luck than judgement."

    And earlier: "there's a real danger of the tournament turning into a lottery"

    A 'real danger'. Not 'it is a real lottery'

    I doubt that anyone is questioning Simpson's credentials. It's more a question of why the USGA feel that they have to make the course SO difficult. The argument is that a less difficult (still hard, just not uber-hard) course would be more likely to identify the best player. Why? Because, with the course set up so hard, players can be punished for a very-nearly-great shot just as much as if they'd hit a bad shot.

  • Comment number 73.

    I can see the argument for why it could b a lottery, but looking at the last three winners they seem to have got the best bloke of the week to win.

    The other players should blame Rory, his fault for shooting -16 last year, USGA were out for revenge.

  • Comment number 74.

    Is the general consensus that the US Open is good the way it is? I hope so.

    I would love to have the chance to play a set up as hard as the US Open, just to have the experience. I love playing in local 'scratch cups' because the courses are set up much harder than normal. My own clubs scratch cup is awesome, the course is lengthened by at least 450 yards, the greens are faster than normal, the flags are in the tough spots and the rough is up. I can't see what isn't enjoyable about this!

    The pros and the media need to stop complaining... we love it.

    Am I not right in saying most of the pros where saying that it was a fair set up, just extremely hard? The only thing I think was a touch unfair was how tight some of the fairways where given the slope of some of the fairways.. ah well.

  • Comment number 75.

    Btw a 265 yard par 4? Unheard of!

  • Comment number 76.

    Agree with much of this.

    If this was just another tour event that was being organised - no tour in the world would set up a course like a US Open. Even with a decent purse, not too many pro's would risk playing such a masochistic set up.

    But because the US Open is a major - they can do what they want, safe in the knowledge that the world best will dilligently turn up, praise the set up as 'tough but fair etc' and hack their way round - many hoping they don't shoot eighty-something. (although it should be said, Paul Lawrie didn't bother them with his presence).

    Whether you have a course playing +6 or +7 for the field, or something playing -2 or -3 - it's still the same course for everyone.

    I think people want to watch courses that are fun to play. Risk / Reward Par 4's (the 7th wasn't a tough enough risk for those taking a driver). Short Par 3's to a tight green. Yes - I don't think there's anything wrong with a long Par 5, as most Pro's will routinely be able to reach a Par 5 in 2, even from off the fairway.

    Is a major a lottery? Perhaps. Certainly guys like Schwartzel and Clarke haven't been at the business end of too many tournaments since winning their major. However I think this is more to do with the depth of world golf. Any one of 100 guys can win a tournament, post Tiger, and it seems they are on a run of doing just that. However, I don't think it's a Lottery - just an open contest every time.

  • Comment number 77.

    Thing that I thought was a problem. Look at Sunday - Furyk started off just trying to get the ball in play, then hit to the centre of the green. I know he was joint leader, so didn't have to be all that agressive - but he wasn't defending a 2 or 3 shot lead.

    Do you really want to watch guys just play to wide parts in the green, or do you want to see them have a go at the flags? Flags 4 and 5 yards from the side of greens aren't going to get too many takers, as they know if they miss the green short side, it's a bogey. Where as, in the centre of the green they will make 2 putts for par 19 times out of 20.

  • Comment number 78.

    Good article Iain, agree with most of it and it appears that it has provoked a wide range of differing views from the regulars. IMHO i enjoy seeing the pros struggle ocassionally. It makes me feel a whole lot better about my game. Was teh course hard? Yes. Was it unfair ? No as it was the same course for all players. Good shots were rewarded and poor shots penalised. It the lottery had odds of about 150-1 instead of 14 million to 1 to win we would all be happy.

  • Comment number 79.

    Just as i am finding my feet with this blog lark my bosses are pulling the plug for a while due to the Olympic Torch. Apparantly use by staff of the internet is compromising the operational requirements of my employers. Heres my early picks then for this week before i get closed down.
    Travellers
    Matt Kuchar
    Hunter Mahan
    John Rollins

    BMW
    Martin Kaymer
    Thongchai Jaidee
    Gonzo Fdez-Castano

  • Comment number 80.

    Mickey and yorkshire blogger must be seething their choosen serial womaniser didnt win.

    I noticed woods didnt hit a driver and just lumped around with driving irons. Which is completly skewing his woeful driving stats. Face it, he just isn that naturally talented.

    Webb simpson a great player and another up and coming young american. Well played

  • Comment number 81.

    btw i agree, ian carter but esecially rodger hodgetts love affair with the morouse andunlikable tiger wiiods is sickening.

    I remember i wound up hodgetts on the live text last year as he claimed that woods is the reatest sports athelete ever...when hes not even he greatest golfer ever.,..by a long shot. Federer, djokovic and nadal are far more special sportsmen tha woods will ever be. etc.

    Can someone sack roger hodgetts please, hes embarrassing...

  • Comment number 82.

    76. piehutt

    Excellent post, I agree with you.

    78 whycantihititstraight "Was it unfair ? No as it was the same course for all players."

    I'm not sure I agree with that. Just because it is the same for all players doesn't make it 'fair'. In the context of a golf course, I think 'fair' can be defined to mean whether the punishment for bad shots / reward for good shots is proportional to the quality of the shot, accepting that there will be some good and bad breaks along the way.

    The USGA seems to be adamant that the winning score must be below a certain number, probably around par. They don't want a birdie fest. However, the public probably want a mix of birdies plus some disasters. As piehutt rightly said, this will include some risk-reward holes that add to the drama. That is one reason why the Masters is so compelling - 2 of the last 6 holes are short par 5's (par 4 1/2's some say) over water that can make or break a players chances.

  • Comment number 83.

    @80/81.....TW was leading the fairway & green in reg after the first two rounds. He was putting the ball in play (a very "important" factor at a US open!!??).
    I think to a lot of people it looked ominous going into the weekend, but, as has been mentioned the conditions seemed to ease and he didn't perform as well.
    After a disastrous start on Sunday, he done what great "champions" do, and that was to fight back with three birdies in his last ten holes, which (ifs & buts) would've got him into a tie for the lead but for the start he had.
    You quite clearly dislike him, so why do you keep coming on the blog talking about him!!??

  • Comment number 84.

    @83

    No it didnt look ominious, only to the likes of you and the poor rodge hodgetts who seem to want a player who spits, throws cubs, swears, look morouse, cheat on wifes he would never get had he got his millions. Very strange.

    2009 woods bottled a 3 shot lead, hich was the must telling thing ever...his aura has gone.

    He relied so heavily on aura, in a weak era of golf, where the most talented players such as els, were/are bottlers.

    We are in a transitional era for golf, but facts remain, woods plays un attractive golf, where HIS DRIVING ability is shocking.


    Hence the driving irons

  • Comment number 85.

    It was the same course for everyone.
    If you look at our own Open how many times do you see a good shot bounce off line into trouble and a poor shot bounce towards the pin?

    Has Westwood been working so hard on his putting that the rest of his game isn't quite so sharp?

  • Comment number 86.

    Very good analysis Ian. Just let the players play the course as it was designed originally..is it that difficult?

  • Comment number 87.

    As much as it would have been wonderful to have seen Westwood win his first major or to have seen McDowell make it three consecutive Northern Irish triumphs at the US Open, I totally agree that Webb Simpson "thoroughly deserved" his major triumph.

    His performances this year may not have been quite up there with last year's but he has had a terrific couple of years and he played some brilliant golf in his two closing rounds of 68 amidst tricky conditions on one of America's toughest courses. This was a hard-earned win and he did superbly well to come out of the pack on the final day and the key to his success was his posting of a competitive clubhouse lead which rather forced the hand of Furyk and McDowell and Furyk in particular felt the pressure.

    Another shame for Lee, but Simpson needs to be congratulated very firmly for his triumph and just as an aside it was great to see McDowell right up there in a major again as it stirred memories of his US Open performance at Pebble Beach and his nerveless match-winning performance at the 2010 Ryder Cup.
    http://jackhayward1989.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/simpsons-maiden-triumph-sends-major-message-out-to-the-likes-of-lee/

  • Comment number 88.

    Froch Carl loves TW - its the only person he talks about week in week out on this blog - he is sat looking at his poster of him and writing love notes for him

    I don't think you can have a go at TW for not taking driver - as you suggest it is not the strongest part of his game and there would be no need to take it off the tee if it was going to get him in to trouble

    When he won at Hoylake he adopted a similar tactic and it worked for him, this weekend it didn't work for him

    I really wanted Westwood to come out and shoot 67 on sunday, but it was not to be.

    But:

    Rd 1 Thompson 66
    Rd 2 Stricker 68
    Rd 3 Westwood / Wittneberg 67
    Rd 4 Thompson 67

    Combined of -12

    So it was there to be done, I believe it was the mental challenge not the actual toughness of the course that defeated a lot of the players

  • Comment number 89.

    Good blog Iain. As for the US Open in danger of becoming a lottery it has for years. Andy North managed 3 wins on the PGA Tour - two of them were US Opens.
    The problem for me seems to be the USGA don't seem to value short game skills - just the ability to hit fairways. The greens were a lottery - hitting them was one thing, holding them was another completely.
    The R&A generally do a much better job setting up a true test, but using St Andrews regularly is highly debatable - at the St Andrews Links played a few weeks ago by some of the best amateurs in Europe the winning score was 23 under par. Worthy of hosting a major championship - sadly I fear not...

  • Comment number 90.

    # 82

    The public get that sort of tournament 90% of the time, and the beauty of the US and THE Open is that you get a totally different sort of challenge than you do the rest of the year

    The Masters and USPGA are that sort of major where you can shoot 30 back nine to win the tournament, but the USGA want a totally different test for the US Open - they know people don't particularly enjoy watching (or playing) this type of golf which is why it is only one tournament a year

    they also know if they had this set up for a non-major a lot of the players might not turn up

    but I think the best golfers relish the challenge to play on a course that is the toughest of the year

    GMac did not win but he said his confidence is now sky high because he almost won the toughest event of the year

    whereas Rory and Luuuuuuke probably won't be too disheartened because in their head they can say it was an extreme test and thus not as if they had missed the cut at a regulation tournament

  • Comment number 91.

    Dear Iain,

    It's nice to see the "talented" World #1 and #2, well, show off their talents.

  • Comment number 92.

    Excellent blog by Iain and some good comments too.
    froch carl's bizarre chip on his shoulder about TW is highly amusing also.

    Anyway, I'm just going to post what I'd prepared yesterday, so sorry if this duplicates a load of the existing posts:

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Congratulations to Darren Fichardt for winning the only real golf competition this week (incidentally, if you don't know St Omer, it's a lovely town and well worth a visit).

    The US Open is now a complete joke - About as much of a test of golfing ability as the lottery. Certainly (in my opinion - other opinions are available) by far the least worthy of the majors.

    I would direct you to the excellent article in The Observer last Sunday by Lawrence Donegan - I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post links on this blog, but you should be able to find it - as Lawrence wrote, the 2012 US Open is "a pointless and frankly spiteful attempt to humiliate the best golfers in the world."

    Finally, so as not to appear too petty - Well done Webb Simpson

    And I'm not moaning 'cos my money was on Westwood, Toms and McDowell :-)

  • Comment number 93.

    Very good analysis Iain. I personally think the set up of the course was very poor as shown by the first six holes being played in something like 860++ over par. These are professional golfers who should get round the course in par or better. There were shots into the same greens that landed about the same areas and some ran through the greens while others kicked quite violently off into bunkers.

    It is 'fair' in that everyone had to play the same course but really not a great advertisement for golf. When you're at a tournament it is good to be able to applaud and cheer when a player walks off with a good score at any hole but the galleries generally don't know what to do when all three players walk off with bogeys or worse.

    I'd also like to know if anyone else thought that the USPGA pulled a fly one by putting their 3 top players out in the plum draw, i.e. early on day 1 and late on day 2 while the 3 top members of the European tour had the opposite draw, late on 1 and early on 2? Conspiracy theorists please apply here.

    It was obviously good to see GMac getting back to something like his best. There are a lot of good players who take a couple of years to win a second major and he looks like joining them. Gary Player & Paddy Harrington had a gap of three majors between their first and second, Ben Hogan four while Arnie (Palmer), Tom Watson and Sir Nick all had a gap of five. In the modern era only Nicklaus 'failed' at just 2 majors before winning his second. It is tough out there and made much tougher by the USPGA's intent on making par a difficult score.

    For people like Lawrie, Love, Toms and Curtis the chance may well have gone but there is a great bunch of talented players now queing up for that elusive second major.

  • Comment number 94.

    and another thing.... if ever there was a clear illustration as to the global benefit of birth control it was the complete idiot who screamed "mashed potato" as the ball was struck. Wonder if we'll hear plaintive yells of neeps & tatties or fish'n'chips next month - Thankfully I doubt it!

  • Comment number 95.

    Still think its a great post Iain , We should understand that certain courses can be set to favour one golfer over another , as golfers have many different good points and lesser good points , some drive better and longer while others have superior short game . I am not able to fully analyse all players assets and the great ones seem to have a near complete game , as I thought both Woods and Rory had , yet both fell short here , so its not so easy to make definative comments .

    Its a personal thing but can not stand Johnny Miller commenting , prefer Faldo but am stuck with Miller where I live.

    Hope Rory gets back on top form , maybe tennis and golf do not mix well, but am still euphoric over his record breaking win , which looks like it may be around for a long time. Graham surprised me , he is still very much in contention and sortof looks a bit like Simpson so confused me watching Telly !!

  • Comment number 96.

    @eight for six to one

    How is it a bizzare chip on my shoulder, as you repeat posts ill repeat posts. WOODS is a dreadful role model on and off the course. Fact. No arguement there. Throw in the fact he plays ugly golf and you have knightmare package of "the face of golf".

    I think its great that mickey sasage and yorkshire blogger are seething.Plus i think roger hodgetts and co need to stop making woods some god. Hodgetts says some truely shambolical comments and as someone pointed out, his prediction where
    "woods" would win by 3 must make him seeth more than yorkshire blogger and mickey sasage combined.

    Interestingly yorkshireblogger, mattfc and mickey have yet to tell why they root for eldrick. Because both his golf and demenor are both uninspiring.

    BTW why are you reading the observer, are you liberal leftist wackjob or something???

  • Comment number 97.

    # 96

    you are obsessed with TW and me. Please be aware if you continute to harass me in this manner I will have to report your posts as such.

    Plus they are inane. For a 12 year old you know some long words but you really need to find a better way to spend your summer holiday. Perhaps go out on the golf course and get some practise in so you can be like your idol and play some of that ugly golf.

    Do you want some salt and vinegar?

  • Comment number 98.

    @96 .....I've stated many times before why I like/root for TW. For the purpose of us on here, can you tell us who you like and why ( no tennis players please!).

  • Comment number 99.

    #92,

    Excellent? LOL! What a joke!

  • Comment number 100.

    page 2?

 

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