US Open

US Open at Chambers Bay a 'tragedy' - Player

2015-06-20 22:13
Gary Player (Supplied)

University Place - Nine-times major champion Gary Player slammed as a "tragedy" this week's U.S. Open site, adding his name to the growing list of critics of the links-style Chambers Bay layout.

Speaking on Golf Channel's Morning Drive programme on Saturday, the 79-year-old South African said that the 115th edition of the year's second major had been "the most unpleasant golf tournament" he had ever seen.

"I'll tell you what - there have never been so many people that missed the (second-round) cut that are so happy to go home," Player said.

"We're playing the U.S. Open, this great championship... but this has been the most unpleasant golf tournament I've seen in my life. I mean the man who designed this golf course had to have one leg shorter than the other."

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened for play in 2007, par-70 Chambers Bay stretches along Puget Sound and features the biggest elevation changes ever seen at a U.S. Open.

Covered throughout by fescue grass and framed by towering sand dunes, the links-style course has tested players to the full this week with luck of the bounce commonplace on undulating fairways and slick, heavily contoured greens.

"It's hard to believe that you see a man miss the green by one yard and the ball ends up 50 yards down in the rough," said Player.

"And can you imagine this is a public golf course. This is where we are trying to encourage people to come out and play and get more people to play the game.

"They're having a putt from 20-30 foot and they're allowing 20 foot (of break) right and 20 foot (of break) left. It's actually a tragedy."

Player, who won the 1965 U.S. Open at Bellerive to complete a career grand slam of the modern-day majors, applauded previous decisions by the United States Golf Association to take its championship to public venues, but not this year's.

"What they did at Bethpage (in 2002 and 2009) was tremendous," he said. "But you don't bring [the U.S. Open] to golf courses like this. This is devastating.

"I think you've got to give the architect the blame. You go to Augusta (National for the Masters), they've got undulating greens but they're playable.

"Did you see how these pros were three-putting yesterday one after the other? There's Sergio (Garcia) three-putting from 20 foot to make the cut ... it's unbelievable."

Read more on:    us open  |  gary player  |  golf


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