The Loop

Someone is up for the challenge

Golf Digest reader Derrick Spatorico from New York is willing to challenge any complainer about Oakmont’s setup to a match at his course, Cobblestone Creek, in Victor.

He writes: "The U.S. Open is going to be great. It seems that much of the pre-event publicity is focusing on the pros and their opinion that the course is lovely, but prohibitively difficult. My response, as well as many people I play with is ‘bring it on’. Either get up for the challenge or get out of the way. This is the same whiny mentality that has caused the U.S. team to get walloped in the Ryder Cup. We’d be better off sending top amateurs into Ryder Cup Battle.

The pros’ complaints about the difficulty of Oakmont, even before the first tee-shot has been struck, are not that bad of an idea after all. By now, most of them know that if they insult the difficulty of the USGA’s course setup, they will have to pay for it during their rounds. If everyone in the field said, “Bring it on,” the tournament might have to end on the Tuesday after Fathers’ Day because everyone would be still finishing.

The greens here are so treacherous, Ernie Els spent five minutes trying to cozy up a benign-looking five-footer on the sixth green Tuesday. He was unable to do so, and he is the last person to win a U.S. Open here. The rough is so deep you can't even see the top of your shoes when you walk in it.

Arnold Palmer told a crowded interview room Wednesday afternoon, “I don't think this golf course is going to be even close to as hard as they could make it.” Given the severity of the greens and the thickness of the rough, that could get scary. “It won't be,” said Palmer, “because then it wouldn't be much fun and it wouldn't be as entertaining of a golf tournament as we want to see.”

--Jeff Patterson