…and not just for playing Scratch irons and wedges either (which is seriously, SERIOUSLY awesome).
Let’s delve into some juicy quotes, shall we? First, as always…link.
“I feel like instead of difficulty, they just go for trickiness, to be honest,” he said.
Moore was particularly critical of the par-five 14th hole and its fast, slopey, raised green. It’s where, in the second round, Zach Johnson made a nine, and Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Y.E. Yang each carded an eight after chipping adventures.
“It would take not much to make that green at least halfway reasonable, and they refuse to do it,” Moore said of USGA officials. “I think they go for a spectacle; they want some hole to draw attention and make everybody look stupid, I guess. It doesn’t reward good golf shots like Augusta (National) does, and I don’t understand why you’d have a tournament that doesn’t reward good golf shots.”
More quotage after the jump.
Moore also slammed the par-three 17th, which plays 208 yards into a bowl-shaped green. When the pin is back-left, it is nearly impossible to hit.
Some players aim for the front bunker. Graeme McDowell called it both “one of the greatest holes in world golf” but also “borderline unfair.”
Said Moore: “It’s completely unreasonable, just a horrible golf hole the way they set it up. I honestly don’t think I could have stopped a 7-iron on it (Sunday).”
Moore hit what he called his “highest, softest” 4-iron, but it did not stay on the green. He scrambled for par.
“I don’t know what they’re trying to demand,” Moore said. “If you can’t even hit a shot that can stay on the green, where’s the skill involved? I just don’t understand.”
That sums it up just about perfectly.
Mike Davis and the USGA has done a fantastic job in recent years prepping the US Open courses in a fair manner that rewards good shots. Unfortunately, Pebble this year was not one of those courses. I think a serious re-evaluation about Pebble’s prospects of hosting another Open need to be questioned as those greens aren’t suitable for a major championship, regardless of how great the rest of the course may play. But if they do come back, I hope they think long and hard about the setup because it ruined a fantastic weekend.