THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017
by Gary Van Sickle

The best thing that happened to golf in 2016 may have been the Dustin Johnson controversy at Oakmont.

It’s almost amazing that it never occurred sooner, that a leader of a major championship committed an infraction – or did he? – and the tournament continued for six more holes before a rules committee made a decision. We watched the U.S. Open for more than an hour and, yes, we didn’t know the leader’s actual score. Picture a baseball game going on when one team trails for three innings by a 4-2 score, or maybe it’s 4-3; nobody knows for sure.

 


by Adam Schupak

Father's Day is always a theme at the U.S. Open, with the tournament's final round traditionally scheduled that day.

This year, Phil Mickelson is home in California to see his firstborn, daughter Amanda, graduate as the valedictorian of her high school class, endangering his chance to pursue a career Grand Slam, and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson became a proud papa for the second time, after fiancée Paulina Gretzky gave birth late Monday to a son, River.

 



by Steve Elling

It’s a course relatively unseen, either on a flat screen or in person. It features blind tee shots, semi-blind approaches and shaved runoff areas that send balls cascading sideways into thigh-high rough.

Erin Hills is situated in the middle of former cattle land in southeast Wisconsin, with nary a tree on the property to aid with sightlines. For nearly as far as the eye can see, it’s blanketed by monochromatic fescue.

 


by Alex Miceli

Arnold Palmer won his only U.S. Open title at Cherry Hills in 1960 when he came from seven shots back in the final round to post a two-shot victory over then-amateur Jack Nicklaus.

The clubs that Palmer used for his 14 victories and 39 top 10s in 1960-61 were given away by Palmer in what ultimately was an exchange for a driver that he borrowed and eventually didn’t want.

The Wilson driver originally was owned by former PGA president Joe Black, and the story is vintage Palmer.

 


A challenge to the USGA

"USGA needs to reconnect with public golfers" (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 14, http://bit.ly/2rtkbx3) was spot on. Francis Ouimet stood the golf world on its collective ear with his win in the U.S. Open. Ouimet was a player essentially "without standing" in the egalitarian world of golf of the day.

I agree that the USGA should take the U.S. Open to more courses than the select field of courses to have previously held one. Various "public" courses can be made ready to hold a U.S. Open, with some work. Hey, USGA, why not go out there and look for other tests of golf up to the standards of the U.S. Open? 

 


In the news

Named: As the honorary first-tee starter at the U.S. Open, Bob Ford, who retired last year as the longtime head professional at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club after the U.S. Open visited the Pittsburgh-area club. Ford was named the USGA’s 2017 Bob Jones Award winner.

Introduced: As tournament director of the Champions Tour’s PowerShares QQQ Championship, Phil Bough. He had been executive director of The First Tee of Los Angeles. The PowerShares QQQ, the second of three tournaments in the Charles Schwab Cup playoffs, is set for Oct. 26-29 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.


Keeping score

396

Official World Golf Ranking of Roberto Diaz, who would replace Phil Mickelson today in the U.S. Open if Mickelson can’t make it to Erin Hills for his2:20 p.m. CDT tee time. Mickelson had planned to attend his daughter Amanda’s high school graduation in California. Diaz, 30, a Mexican and South Carolina-Aiken alumnus, stands 11th on the Web.com Tour money list. The U.S. Open would be his first major championship.



FROM THE INDUSTRY

Bayer Environmental Science will be the presenting sponsor of the Can Am Cup, which matches Canadian golf course superintendents against their American counterparts. The event will be played Oct. 22-24 at two New Jersey clubs: Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield and Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit.

 

Zach Reineking, a Wisconsin native and superintendent of Erin Hills, has his 11-year-old course ready for this week’s U.S. Open. Reineking, 35, an Evans Scholar at Wisconsin, interned at Blackwolf Run’s River Course before working his way up the ranks on the grounds crew at Erin Hills.

 

Ahead will provide headwear for the Sail Boston event on June 17-22, the New Bedford, Mass., company announced. Six custom hats will be available throughout the event on the Sail Boston website.

 

Yash Majmudar of Las Vegas shot three consecutive under-par rounds to win the inaugural Sizzler Amateur at Troon North Golf Club’s Pinnacle Course. Majmudar, a sophomore at Nevada-Las Vegas, shot 69-69-70 for a 5-under 208 total and one-stroke victory over David Laskin of Elk Grove, Calif. The Sizzler is the first event of the Troon Saguaro Amateur Series.

 


CALENDAR
June 14-17
Men’s amateur: Sunnehanna Amateur
Sunnehanna CC, Johnstown, Pa.
June 15-18
LPGA: Meijer LPGA Classic
Blythefield CC, Belmont, Mich.
Web.com Tour: Air Capital Classic
Crestview CC, Wichita, Kan.
PGA Tour: U.S. Open
Erin Hills, Erin, Wis.
June 16-18
Symetra Tour: Decatur-Forsyth Classic
Hickory Point GC, Decatur, Ill.
June 18-22
Junior: Western Junior
Park Ridge (Ill.) CC
June 19-24
Men’s amateur: British Amateur
Royal St. George’s GC, Sandwich, England
June 20-21
Junior: Pepsi Little People’s Tournament
Westview GC and Knights of Columbus Par 3, Quincy, Ill.
June 21-24
Men’s amateur: Northeast Amateur
Wannamoisett CC, Rumford, R.I.
June 22-25
Web.com Tour: Lincoln Land Charity Championship
Panther Creek CC, Springfield, Ill.
PGA Tour: Travelers Championship
TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, Conn.
European Tour: BMW International Open
Munich (Germany) Golf Club
June 23-25
Symetra Tour: Island Resort Championship
Sweetgrass GC, Harris, Mich.
LPGA: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
Pinnacle CC, Rogers, Ark.
Champions Tour: American Family Insurance Championship
University Ridge GC, Madison, Wis.

      
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