Quick 9: Most brutal US Open courses
Winged Foot, 1974 and 2006
Nicknamed the Massacre of Winged Foot, Hale Irwin’s 287 (+7) was good enough to land him the first of this three US Open crowns in 1974. Not a single player broke par in the first round and, in subsequent years, no US Open has finished with a higher winning total. However, the 2006 instalment ran it very close. Both Colin Montgomerie and Phil Mickelson will still have nightmares after both their title charges collapsed in the final stages. Australian Geoff Ogilvy would snatch the crown with a five-over-par 285.
Shinnecock Hills, 2004
Is this the year that the USGA went too far with the conditioning of a course? It turned out to be a brutal final day, with the average final-round score landing at 78.7 and not a single golfer finished their round under par. Tiger Woods claimed the organisation had “lost it”, while Phil Mickelson branded the conditions unacceptable. However, Retief Goosen wouldn’t have been complaining to vigorously as he edged out Mickelson by two shots with a four-under 276. It will be interesting to see how it sets up this year.
So tricky was Oakmont in 2007 that the field broke par for only eight rounds during the tournament, just two players per day, while eventual winner Angel Cabrera was the only player to break par twice. Conditions were so penal that Tiger Woods, who finished one stroke off the lead at six over, said a 10 handicapper would be unable to break 100.