US Open debate: Did the USGA set up Merion correctly?

The Scoop

Did the Merion set-up provide thrilling and captivating golf? Or was it a bit of a let-down? Two of our writers battle it out...

YES

Seeing the world’s best struggle is highly entertaining, says James Tompkinson

As the rain came down before the start of the first day at the US Open, there were whispers that Merion would be taken apart by the world’s elite, but following four days of high drama we were left in no doubt that it was a fantastic venue that challenged the best.

Although there have been complaints about the lack of semi-rough and tricky pin positions, the fact is that Merion’s set-up rewarded good shots and punished bad ones – surely the basis for any good golf course?

I would much rather see the world’s best struggle than watch the field tear a course to pieces with a winning score of -17. It makes for a better tournament which keeps you engrossed throughout, and nobody can deny that Merion didn’t provide drama until the end.

In my mind it was the perfect set up for the US Open.

Additionally, it provides a great deal of comfort for us club golfers to know that even the world’s best know how to find the trees and hit it out of bounds!
I like to see the golf of my dreams – bundles of birdies and wonder shots – not childhood heroes putting off the green or fluffing it in the rough.

NO

Birdies and a back-nine charge make for better viewing, says Joe Whitley

I realise that, to many, seeing the world’s best players struggle in the US Open is just part of the tournament’s charm.

I’ve even heard some say it makes them feel better about their own game.
Unfortunately, I am under no such illusions and find the terrible scoring quite dull.

Watching Sergio Garcia make a double on a par-4 measuring longer than any par-5 I’ve played doesn’t make me think I’ve got a chance in the big leagues.

It just makes me think I’d probably get into double figures on the same hole.

I like to see the golf of my dreams – bundles of birdies and wonder shots – not childhood heroes putting off the green or fluffing it in the rough.

You wouldn’t go to Wembley and be happy to see footballers slicing goal attempts into the stands, would you?

I like knowing that a low-60s round is out there and that the winner could come out of nowhere – it adds to the excitement. That wasn’t the case at the US Open and it was therefore something of an anti-climax for me.

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