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Tiger Woods and Oak Hill’s Greens, The Saga Continues

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Tiger Woods’ opening-round 66 at Firestone was notable, to be sure. The world No. 1 made it around the South Course’s front nine (his back nine) in an impressive 4-under after a ho-hum opening nine.

However, for 14-time major winner, who has won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational seven times, a quality opening round is routine. Ripping the greens of the course that’s slated to host the next major, less so. Thus, Tiger Woods’ remarks Wednesday about the course he played Tuesday — Oak Hill, site of the coming PGA Championship — continued to dominate Woods-related headlines Thursday, as it were.

As Woods said Wednesday about the greens at Oak HIll,

“They don’t have much thatch to them, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do for the tournament and how much they’re able to speed them up with kind of a lack of grass.”

Further, the golfer indicated that the greens were rolling near a nine on the Stimpmeter during his practice round, which is unsatisfactorily slow for a major championship, obviously.

Predictably, intrepid reporters clamored to get the New York course’s superintendent, Jeff Corcoran, on the horn Thursday.

Eventually, Corcoran provided both explanations and puzzling soundbytes Thursday, such as the following:

“You don’t tell a marathon runner to go out and run a marathon just before you run a marathon.”

Further, Oak Hill’s super said:

“In regards to Tiger’s…comments, he hit it right on the head. We were trying to give the greens a rest before we head into a very stressful week. …When he was here [Tuesday], we were playing defense. We didn’t mow that day, didn’t roll [the greens] that day. We’ve had an extremely tough summer. We’ll have the green speeds up; they’ll roll fine.”

Well enough. If the superintendent says the course will be ready, we have to take him at his word. What do we make of Tiger’s comments, though?

Did Woods offer a casual, honest assessment, which leant itself to “Tiger Calls Oak Hill Crap” type of incendiary headlines? When asked how the course played during his practice round, should he have said, “It was great, next question!”

Under the “everybody plays the same course” school of thought, there’s not a great deal of sympathy when players are critical of course conditions, generally speaking. Was Woods really being critical, though? He certainly didn’t seem to be dishing out praise, at the very least.

Regardless of what we consider Woods’ intent to be in making his blunt assessment, it’s almost certain the saga will continue: We’ll hear much more about Oak Hill’s greens, and Woods will be hit with continued questions in the coming week.

Woods, at least, was impressed by something: his playing partner Thursday, Hideki Matsuyama.

“He has a boatload of talent,” Woods said about the 21-year-old Japanese standout. “He knows what he’s doing out there. And the more time he is out here, the older he gets, he will develop more shots. The talent is there.”

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Tiger Woods

    Aug 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Stop bashing me guys! I’ll stop responding now and go back to my girlfriends… I mean girlfriend. Whoops.

  2. Whatever

    Aug 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Who cares what he says about anything……….blah blah blah.

  3. Ryan

    Aug 2, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    A little dissapointing that golfwrx allows these types of articles to be put on their site.

  4. Michael

    Aug 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    If you listen to the entirety of Tiger’s comments, the buzz about the greens is much ado about nothing. He was answering an interesting question honestly, and gave Oak Hill their props acknowledging the grass has been under stress and affirming they are doing what it take to get them ready for next week.

  5. RCM1301

    Aug 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    The problem is not Tiger, it’s the Media.

  6. Timothy Young

    Aug 2, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Agreed, this is very non-headline making. Yet the media HAS to make it so because its Tiger. He just answered a question honestly. When he was there a week prior to the major event the greens were slow and he wasn’t sure if they’d be able to do anything about based on what he saw.

  7. Steve Barry

    Aug 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Unreal, and people wonder why Tiger is so robotic when it comes to answering questions. He gives one honest answer and this is what happens. Everything he said makes sense and it was an honest assessment. He didn’t say they were crap or unplayable or anything like that, just said they were slow and there wasn’t a lot of grass to work with. What’s wrong with that?

  8. sturg

    Aug 2, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I don’t get the headlines. He didn’t “rip” the course. He was asked a question and gave an honest answer. The are rolling at a 9, which is too slow for a major championship

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5 things we learned on Sunday of the 2018 U.S. Open

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Opportunity knocked for so many golfers, yet it was the 2017 champion who seized the moment when it was his. Brooks Koepka fired his second sub-par round of the week on Sunday to separate from playing partner Dustin Johnson, and enter the pantheon of multiple major champions. He became the 7th player to defend his title, joining old-school legends like Willie Anderson and John McDermott, mid-century icons like Ralph Guldahl and Ben Hogan, and the last man to accomplish the feat, Curtis Strange. With that introduction, let’s move to the main event, the 5 things we learned on Sunday at Shinnecock Hills.

5) The USGA gave golf a chance

True to its word, the USGA pulled out all the stops in the wee hours of Sunday morn. The course set-up team ensured that enough water was distributed to putting surfaces, that worthy shots would not be punished. Hole locations were assessed and confirmed, also ensuring that multiple opportunities for success were available. As a result, 15 golfers turned in scores under par of 70, highlighted by Tommy Fleetwood’s 7-under stunner. Although many fans, writers and players were quick to assault the organizers for losing control of the course, the USGA reminded us that it always had control of the conditions at Shinny, and that its only mistake was to soar too close to the sun.

4) Captain America ran out of gas

If Patrick Reed had been able to sign his card on the 9th tee, when he stood 5-under on the day and 1-over for the tournament, he would be in a playoff with the eventual champion as I type. Unfortunate for this year’s Masters champion was that 10 holes remained. Reed promptly bogeyed the 9th, added 3 more bogeys on the inward half, and summoned just one birdie toward the end. His fourth-place finish was his best in a U.S. Open, but knowing that victory was in the cards will sting for a while.

3) DJ and Finau gave it a run

Where to begin? How about this: DJ had four bogeys on Sunday. He totaled that many on Thursday-Friday combined. He had birdies, too, but couldn’t find the game that possessed him over the opening 36 holes. Oddly enough, this type of experience won’t be a setback for the 2016 champion. After all, he came back from a career-killer in 2015, when he 3-whacked his way out of a playoff with Jordan Spieth at Chambers Bay. As for Milton Pouhau Finau, aka Tony, the Utah native had never before been in the final group on any day of a major professional championship. He acquitted himself well, standing even on the day and 3-over for T2 at the 18th tee. Knowing that he needed eagle for a playoff might have taken the final winds from his sails, and he limped home with double bogey and solo third. Looking ahead to the final August playing of the PGA Championship, Bellerive near St. Louis might just be his type of course.

2) Tom Terrific nearly made his own U.S. Open history

I’ll write this cautiously, as I’m certain I would have intimated in the 1980s and 90s that Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood would have been major champions by now. Tommy Fleetwood ought to win one of these things soon. His record-tying 63 was a short putt away from a record-breaking 62. Eight birdies against a single bogey was the stuff of legend, and if only he had trusted that final putt a bit higher on the break … that’s not fair. Fleetwood right now is the fellow to watch at Carnoustie next month. Bet a few quid or bob or whatever on the Southport native, as he should contend for the title.

1) Brooks cooks up a winning broth

It’s easy to look back and see all the great shots that the defending champion hit over the four days of the 2018 U.S. Open, shots that would win him his second consecutive trophy. Remember that 60-feet bomb to save par on Saturday? Shades of Costantino Rocca. How about the approach shots to within mere feet that earned him 5 birdies on Sunday, including a competition-killer on 16? Koepka was the guy we thought Dustin Johnson would be. Perhaps it was the time off for wrist rehabilitation early this season that gave him the burning desire to win. Out for nearly 4 months, Koepka had plenty of time to ponder what he achieved last June in Wisconsin, and what might lay ahead for him. The begged question is, does the most recent, two-time major winner have the game to acquire more of the game’s cherished trophies?

Related: Brooks Koepka’s Winning WITB from the 2018 U.S. Open

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Wednesday’s Photos from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (par 70; 7,440 yards) in Southhampton, New York. The U.S. Open returns to Shinnecock for the first time since 2004 when Retief Goosen won (he failed to qualify for the 2018 event).

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Phil Mickelson, who has two top-5 finishes at Shinnecock Hills, will seek to fill out his career Grand Slam with a win this week. Also, it’s Tiger Woods’ 10-year anniversary of winning the legendary 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines — that was his most recent major championship victory.

Also in the field are headliners Dustin Johnson (now ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings), Justin Thomas (No. 2), Justin Rose (No. 3), Jon Rahm (No. 4) and Jordan Spieth (No. 5).

Brooks Koepka (No. 9) is the defending champion; he won last year by four shots for his first and only major so far in his career.

Check out our photos from Shinnecock Hills below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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Spotted at Shinnecock: #RVLife, superb staff bags, stellar stampings

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We’re on the famed grounds of Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the second major of the year. With the U.S. Open returned to such a visually and historically rich venue, it may be a bit tough to focus on equipment.

Nevertheless, we spotted some cool stuff, Tuesday, as the players move ever closer to the second major of th eyear.

Let’s get to the photos.

#RVLife propronent, Jason Day’s putter cover is incredible.

Michael Greller displays an essential caddie skill…

Face of Tiger’s wedge. Do these look like standard TaylorMade MG grooves to you?

Greatest side panel on a bag ever?

Who isn’t happy to see “Woods” on USGA tournament signage?

Shintaro Ban’s unique dot stamping is, well, money.

A look at the Bridgestone U.S. Open staff bag and headcovers.

Kenny Perry: Still gaming R7 irons.

Scott Gregory with some solid wedge stamping.

What is this lead taped and war torn beauty?

All our photos from Tuesday

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums

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