US Open

Greens 'perfectly fine' - Ogilvy

2015-06-19 08:39
Geoff Ogilvy (File)

University Place - Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia led a chorus of criticism of the greens during the U.S. Open first round on Thursday but former champion Geoff Ogilvy felt that good putters "would prevail".

World number one McIlroy and eighth-ranked Garcia had both described the putting surfaces at Chambers Bay as too bumpy and below par while American left-hander Phil Mickelson bemoaned the lack of consistency in pace from hole to hole.

Australian Ogilvy, however, while agreeing that some of the greens on the links-style layout were "ropey", took the view that PGA Tour players, in general, had become spoilt and should be able to adapt.

"We've played far bumpier greens at U.S. Opens than this," Ogilvy told Reuters after shooting a one-under-par 69 to end the opening round four shots off the pace.

"Pebble Beach is one, in the morning they're great and it all kind of changes in the afternoon when the sun comes out. When (Graeme) McDowell won (the 2010 U.S. Open), they were pretty bumpy too.

"So it's just par for the course. I'm sure everybody would like to see slightly truer surfaces but I'm not going to hole any putts if I worry about it. I think we'd like to see them slightly better but it's perfectly fine."

McIlroy described the blotchy fescue grass greens at Chambers Bay as "not the best that I've ever putted on".

Garcia used twitter to make his criticism, stating he believed a major championship "deserves better quality green surfaces that we have this week but maybe I'm wrong!".

Ogilvy, who won his only major title in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, agreed that the green speed did vary a little bit.

"But I'm a bit of an old-fashioned kind of a golf person, I don't think that's too big of a problem," said the 38-year-old.

"I actually think that the better putters will prevail in that sort of situation, like (Ben) Crenshaw and (Brad) Faxon.

"They would have made everything on bumpy greens and they would have walked off thinking, 'You guys are dreaming.' That's kind of part of golf.

"You get into a bunker and there's some sand, you get into another bunker and there's a lot of sand. I don't think you should set out to have greens of varying speeds but I don't think it's the end of the world when they vary a little bit."

Ogilvy, who is known for his astute observations about various competitive golf and course design, felt the game's leading players had become too accustomed to ideal course conditions.

"We are all just a little bit spoiled," he said.

"We are, in general, as PGA Tour players. We have it so perfect every week.

"I think we are losing the ability to adapt, to see the speed difference when you look at it, to feel it under your feet.

"It would be ideal if they were all the same speed but I don't necessarily hate the variety in speed.

"It's one of those lost skills. We would all be better off if we did this a little bit more often, because we would probably all be better putters.

"Yeah, there are a couple of ropey greens here, but good putters usually hole more putts on slightly ropey greens."

Read more on:    us open  |  geoff ogilvy  |  golf


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