David Livingstone takes a look at another controversial week for the USGA and discusses the key talking points from the US Open.
Although part of me loved the chaos and madness of it all, as it made for a compelling day of sporting drama, I do recognise it was completely ridiculous what happened during the third round.
The USGA did something that they didn’t need to, because they pushed it to the absolute limit of what they thought they could get away with and the gamble failed.
I think the USGA try too hard to control everything, with the unnecessary nature of how they failed to take away the risks being what gets the players so annoyed.
It is an obsession on their part to identify the glory of par and for it to be the ultimate test. The chaos and madness is always under the surface at the US Open and you always feel at least one day there’s going to be a chaotic day, which came on Saturday this time around.
Although the USGA kind of put their hands up and admitted that the course got out of control, they never said sorry for it. Their way of saying sorry was by softening the course for the final round, but we never get a proper apology.
Mike Davis came in to the USGA not long after the fiasco of 2004 and we thought we had banished all the memories of that year. For years he was seen to be a positive force of the US Open, making a sexier, more player-friendly kind of event.
Over the last few years, we’ve had the Chambers Bay nonsense, the Dustin Johnson incident at Oakmont and then a golf course at Erin Hills last year that didn’t seem to fit the occasion.
Each time we have a fiasco the USGA promise it won’t happen again, but then something else happens. It worries me for the reputation of the US Open and the USGA, because I think the fans are starting to laugh at them a little bit.
US Open Golf
June 18, 2018, 7:00pm
Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass
I don’t really see any signs of us avoiding further incidents in the future, because they always seem so determined to push everything to the absolute limit.
The way the USGA dealt with the Phil Mickelson situation was stupid and I’ve been really impressed with the golfers in the media, who have been consistent in condemning what he did.
As soon as he didn’t withdraw, the USGA should have disqualified him because it was completely against the spirit of the game and the rules. It’s all well saying a player should gain whatever advantage he can from the rules of golf, but taking advantage of the rules isn’t the right thing to do either.
I understand all the professional golfers’ outrage about the incident, but as a fan I feel like he made a fool of himself and harmed his reputation. Mickelson couldn’t bring himself to admit that he has.
If he had withdrawn he would’ve gone right to the top of the moral high ground, but now opinion on him will be much more split. The Mickelson fans still love him, but other golf fans saw a side of him that they shouldn’t have seen.