Tuesday, June 12, 2007

U.S.O 107 is upon us!

The U.S. Open has always been known to be the toughest of the four majors. To top that this year the U.S. Open is being played at Oakmont which has a reputation for being the most difficult U.S. Open course.

-> The defending Champion Geoff Ogilvy

The last time the event was played at Oakmont was in 1994. It was then that Arnold Palmer played for the last time at the U.S. Open and it was his 32nd appearance at the Open. Ernie Els won the title that year. It was Ernie's first major victory. Although he has won two more after that Ernie's golfing career has been punctuated by near misses more than victories. With one of the most graceful and pleasing swings on the golf course one would have backed Ernie to have won far more tournaments than he has actually won.

Listening to what a lot of players have to say during the practice rounds it clearly seems that everyone is apprehensive about the course and it would not be an understatement to say they are terrified by the prospect of having to face the greens which are bound to be severe, made worse by the dry conditions prevailing in Pennsylvania.

One person the players would turn towads to take advice from is Johnny Miller, the player who shot a 63 in the final round of the U.S. Open when it was hosted in Oakmont in 1973. That was the first time anyone had shot a 63 in any of the major championships. That remarkable closing 63 gave Miller the first of his two major championships. The other one being the 1976 Open championship. It will be fascinating to get inside the players heads and see how they intend to tackle the course, especially the 8th hole, a 288 yard par 3. If the wind aint backing them, most players would struggle to reach the green even with their driver. I think they would be more than happy to settle for a bogey or a par at best on this hole.

During the Augusta Masters a lot of players were complaining about how difficult the conditions were and they were very upset with the changes. It will be interesting to see what they have to say here. Their argument being that people applaud for birdies hit and not for bogeys. Be that as it may, in an era where golf clubs have become insanely good the organisers are trying their best to neutralise the players weapons and only the best will be able to respond to the challenge. Who will come out on top? We will just have to wait and watch!

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