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19th Hole

Is Rocco Mediate right to roast players who complained about U.S. Open setup?

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Following his opening round at the U.S. Senior Open the 2008 U.S. Open runner-up had some harsh words, as we mentioned earlier in the Morning 9.

Not for the USGA, mind you, but for the players who based U.S. golf’s governing body for the setup at Shinnecock Hills.

Mediate his U.S. Senior Open with a 2-under 68 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, but he was just heating up as the round concluded. Always a character, never one to mince words, here’s what he said about player comments about Shinnecock’s setup and conditioning.

“Truthfully, it’s all been a bunch of bull(expletive), what I’ve heard, complete horse(expletive). I’ll say it again if you want me to.”

“Here’s the deal – here’s the deal, two weeks ago: If you don’t like how it was set up, A, hit better shots; B, don’t come. Don’t come. Someone will take your place. It’s real, real simple. Now you’re getting me mad.”

“They’re talking about, well, you just shot 10 feet right of the pin, rolled into the bunker. Hit it left of the pin, then, OK? Because everybody’s got to play the golf course.”

“Let me ask you this question, too. Remember the one about the golf course changed from the morning – have you ever played one that didn’t? Of course it’s going to change. That’s what it’s supposed to do.”

“Sometimes it can get softer in the afternoon. Sometimes it gets firmer…What I heard that week made me want to throw up, basically. Just shut up, play. Because I guarantee you that trophy, that beautiful trophy they give away, this week and two weeks ago, is way worth the crap you have to go through to win it. It is. I haven’t done that yet, but it is. I had this much on it. It was worth the try.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Does Rocco appropriately represent the old-school, hardline U.S. Open contingent’s perspective, or is he off base?

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54 Comments

54 Comments

  1. BCC

    Jul 4, 2018 at 4:26 am

    All of you were not at too. Why bother to comment then.

    If just look at the context, you shall be fine.

  2. Rich

    Jul 2, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    The problem is the tour players have become spoiled .Their expectation is set too high and too easy
    No one likes to see a 21 under par tourney .Roco is dead on with his comments.

  3. MHERD4

    Jul 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    It’s hard to listen to anyone complain when their profession involves hitting a little white ball, finding it, and hitting it again. FWP (First World Problems)!!

  4. Brian

    Jul 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    I would say Rocco is wrong, because even the USGA said “Woops, we goofed, Sorry about that”.

  5. Pete

    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Rocco didn’t even play in the US Open

  6. Pete

    Jul 1, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Rocco is irrelevant in golf. The only way he gets press is when he opens his mouth and says something stupid – which unfortunately, is too often.

    • Tom

      Jul 2, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Kind of like you Pete

      • Pete

        Jul 2, 2018 at 1:48 pm

        Maybe true. But GolfWRX asked for our opinion. Who asked Rocco for his opinion on tournament he didn’t even play in.

        • Red hen

          Jul 2, 2018 at 9:08 pm

          It was an interview after his senior US open, so you saying he isn’t allow to give his opion on a bunches of cry babies

    • Dave Bryce

      Jul 3, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      You are right,Mediate has always been full of hot air!

  7. R. Smith

    Jul 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Rocco you are spot on and I’m buying you a drink. This is OUR national championship. It should be the toughest test in golf. These “Independent Contractors” do not have to play it if it is “unfair”. They can sit home and watch. Yes the course was set up to be extremely difficult and the USGA cannot control Mother Nature. If it makes it harder so be it. These crybabies play a game for millions of dollars and they want to shoot “easy” 65s every week. How great it was to see who had the ability to fight through all of the adversity to execute golf shots and if they got a bad break they fought on. The USGA needs to grow a pair and tell the crybabies to stay home next year.

    • Caroline

      Jul 2, 2018 at 12:55 am

      Agree, I like the one about John Daly crying over not being able to use a cart at the Senior Open…as almost anyone knows you go 20 years 30 to 50 pounds over weight you may have some trouble walking……..and if you make a living (of coarse It may be safe to say Daly does not make most of his living playing golf) playing Pro golf you would think being able to get around the course on two legs might be fairly important…

  8. Matt

    Jul 1, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t play with any single digits who enjoy good shots ending up in bad spots. Rocco likes to talk and I guess since he finished second to Tiger once he believes he has the right ideas concerning the setup.

  9. Tommy

    Jul 1, 2018 at 12:45 am

    Courses change, but this one changed nearly ten strokes from morning to afternoon. Koepka also hits scoring clubs into many more greens than most players do, hence his ability to hold the greens. Can’t reward the long hitters every day, can you? So, unless you can hit a 375 yard drive followed by a 165 yard wedge, the hole is basically unplayable. That’s called a fair hole for a few players and unfair for most of the rest. Barring crazy weather, that’s the largest score discrepancy from AM to PM that I’ve seen since the 2000 Open at Pebble with the fog/wind.

  10. Mick

    Jun 30, 2018 at 10:57 am

    Rocco is 100% correct- spot on. I always liked him, and now even more so. Hate those that whine, Good on Rocco.

  11. Dave r

    Jun 30, 2018 at 10:45 am

    That’s golf . Get over it.

  12. Steve Cantwell

    Jun 30, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I was unaware that players were being “ forced” to participate in this event. That being said, the complaints are justified. Had that been able to stay home, or play their local Muni and shoot a low score, it would have been more fair for these poor guys. Maybe these professional golfers should set up “go fund me” accounts to help make ends meet for the week.

  13. Richard Douglas

    Jun 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

    Rocco is wrong. The concern about the setup wasn’t how hard it was, but how unfair it was. It created a randomness that was unacceptable. Good shots were punished. Bad shots were punished disproportionately–a small error could result in a horrible outcome while a worse error would be punished less severely. The guy with the most lucky bounces–not the best player–won.

    The US Open has always had this quality, which is why you see some incredible names absent from the winners’ rolls. Just like Augusta used to exclude some players (see Trevino, Lee), the US Open has often rewarded nobodies (see North, Andy). But now? It’s just goofy golf. They should be putting purple balls with orange putters.

    • Thomas A

      Jul 2, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Unfair? B.O.O. H.O.O The winner walks away with nearly $2,000.000. I’m not crying for anyone’s bunker shot.

  14. Andrew

    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Have not heard the winner moan once about the course setup – says it all.

    Play it as it lies and accept the challenge.

    If a perfectly hit shot rolls 30 yards off the green then it was not so perfect after all!

    • Richard Douglas

      Jun 30, 2018 at 7:13 am

      But that’s not true, and that’s the point of the complaints. There were some holes that could not–would not–result in a good score, no matter how good the approach shot was. They would punish–or reward–good shots and bad. That’s what was meant by calling it unfair.

      The golf course should be challenging enough to discern great golf shots from middling ones. But this course didn’t; it reduced the great to good, but the good also remained. This served to keep scoring down, sure, but it didn’t allow the great players to distinguish themselves.

      • adn5086

        Jun 30, 2018 at 8:06 am

        Just to play devil’s advocate…

        What is deemed as a good score? Par is irrelevant, so making a bogey/double bogey on a difficult hole may be a good score. Similar to how a 4 on a 280-yard par 4 may be a bad score.

        What is deemed a good shot? A shot where the player wants to hit it? What if where they want to hit it is incorrect? A player can hit a well struck shot to the wrong part of the green and be punished. If there is no “right” part of the green then the players should be looking for areas that will be receptive to easier up and downs.

        I feel like it’s common to hear this narrative of lucky bounces and good shots vs bad shots all being treated randomly yet Brooks Koepka dominated both US Opens on completely different setups. I find it hard to believe that Koepka got all the lucky bounces two years in a row on two tracks that are polar opposites.

        As mentioned above, the players around the top of the leaderboard seemed to be the ones playing the course and not trying to play against par. The US Open is supposed to be a test of both skill and mental strength to persevere.

        Lastly, you say that it didn’t allow great players to distinguish themselves… Top 10 included Koepka, Fleetwood, DJ, Reed, Stenson, and Rose…. I think those names speak for themselves.

  15. Thomas

    Jun 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    He sure sounds like get off my lawn guy.
    Just saying.

  16. Sean

    Jun 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    He has just as much right to express his opinion as anyone else. You don’t have to agree with him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t offer his opinion.

    • dewey

      Jun 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      exactly, there is no right or wrong in social things.

      Do Rocco pull his pants up to high? too high for my taste not for his. Rock on Rocco.

  17. DaveyD

    Jun 29, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    It’s more fun watching a tough tournament like the US Open than a 20-under free-for-all turkey shoot.

    • JThunder

      Jun 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Remember you’re speaking for yourself.

      Speaking for myself, I enjoy watching the pros confront a challenge.

      BUT – (British) Open weather aside, I do not enjoy watching the bet players in the world shoot +10, especially when they’re spending all day hitting 3wd, hybrid and iron off the tee, long approaches to the fat of the green @ 40ft, three putting for bogey.

      I can see that all day, every day, on any decent golf course around, and better yet be playing myself.

  18. Dambo

    Jun 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Thanks Rocco.

    1950…”Even as the first players teed off, the work crews of Merion superintendent Joe Valentine were busy dumping several wheelbarrows of fine beach sand onto the 12th green and working it into the turf with bamboo poles, watering and rolling the surface to make the lethally hard green even more hostile. On this same green later that day, Sam Snead rolled a short putt from three feet above the cup off the green and a dozen yards back into the fairway.” – James Dodson

    Seems like it has always been a difficult tournament.

  19. Colin Tennant

    Jun 29, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Of course it was hard. Possibly too hard and Probably some of the pin positions were a little iffy . But…..play different shots, play different types of approach shot. Of course it’s not target golf but that’s a good thing. If it’s not possible to fire it in from a mile high, figure out another way. Learn a chip and run. Learn how the old guys played links golf. Be creative. It’ll mean the guy who hits it the furthest may not win. Imagine that happening. WOW

  20. Tim J

    Jun 29, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    I agree with Rocco. I was saying this in my head the whole time. The whole thing has started to put me off watching these wealthy dorks play. I think we’ve given these pro golfers a bit too much lee way since the start of the tiger era – we’ve lifted them too high up. They really are just one step above professional bowlers after all.

    I play a ton of golf. After many years of playing, and the better I get at this game, the more I realize its a just another fun little game of leisure, nothing more. Like bocce or tennis. You crack a couple beers and go out and have some fun competition with your buddies. Sure, it is very difficult at first, and that adds to the mysticicsm at first. But I am beyond that. I am losing interest in watching overpayed children of privledge hit a plastic ball around a field. What they are doing is absolutely no where near as incredible and interesting as the superbowl or the Stanly cup, or anything else going on elsewhere around the world for that matter. They are professionals of a game of leisure and I am not interested in thier opinions.

  21. CrashTestDummy

    Jun 29, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I agree with Rocco. The course was playing extraordinarily hard but it is a major. It is ok to have a few major tournaments extremely difficult to test the players. Most tournaments the players are shooting lights out double digits under par. US Open par is a good score.

    The balls were not blowing off the green by the wind so it was fair enough. Koepka was able to play the course well and that is why he won.

  22. Scott Ivlow

    Jun 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Here is my biggest gripe Nobody including all the Golf Opinion Guys mainly Rich Lerner,David Duvall, Brandall Chamblee,& Frank Nobilo all blamed the USGA when they all could have blamed Shinnicock Golf Course. There is no reason to have stupid greeen configurations that can’t be set up for all different kind of pin locations for all type of wind directions. The problem the USGA had was predicting wind conditions and can be wrong as a day progresses so that doesn’t work and the USGA got the blame for it because there is only so many locations on thier that you can put a pin at. So they played faster in the afternoon. Had the USGA added water on the greens for every to slow them could anyone imagine the uproar players would have had going the other way at the USGA. The USGA runs so many of it’s own Tournaments that the only that ever get complained about in media from players, fans and golf media in the US Open. Why is that. Everone apparently has an attitude the puts the USGA in the damned if they do and damned if they don’t do in setting up golf courses. Go Roco for speaking out.

  23. Matthew

    Jun 29, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Everyone has to play the same golf course. While yes it may have changed from the morning, that’s life. I applaud Rocco for finally saying what’s right and not furthering this cry baby mentality.

  24. Matt

    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    I mean the pros only make more money in 4 days then the majority of the world makes in there life.

  25. Jamie

    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    The Majors are supposed to be about survival and not the weekly entertainment we’re used to seeing. Koepka won at +1. That’s about what the winning score in a major should be. All these spoiled bomb-and-gouge cucks complaining, grow up. Are we supposed to think that the USGA is going to allow that strategy to be used to win?

    • Richard Douglas

      Jun 30, 2018 at 7:17 am

      It’s not the score that’s the issue. The real issue is: did the golf course distinguish the great from the very good? Answer: no. It was so poorly set up it randomized results.

      What if the greens were set up like a pachinko machine, with random bounces everywhere? Someone would still win, right? But would it be the best player? No, it would be the one who got the luckiest random bounces.

      Once again, the USGA punishes great golf and randomizes its outcome.

  26. Kevin

    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    My only comment is that the R&A seems to let courses like the Old Course at St Andrews be what they are and not try to manipulate them. Based on the weather some days 72 is a great score and some days 72 will get you lapped by the field. I agree with David Fay, they had it a little too closely mowed all over. The slopes and contours and uneven lies make the course difficult as it is. After they softened it for Sunday it wasn’t like the field average was under par. The USGA outsmarts itself.

  27. Michael

    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Couldn’t find Rocco’s name on the 2018 US Open Leaderboard….

    Oh right, he didn’t play….probably shouldn’t comment about something he wasn’t at..

    http://www.usopen.com/scoring.html

    • Jamie

      Jun 29, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Couldn’t find yours either. Rocco’s played in a few more than you have. And he’s heard all the whining before at Opens he has played in.

    • Matt

      Jun 29, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      You must be one of the modern babies.

    • CrashTestDummy

      Jun 29, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Did you forget his epic battle with Tiger at Torrey Pines in 2008? He has been there and done that, so his opinion holds weight.

  28. Emboom

    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:49 am

    All I could tthink of while watching the Open and hearing “Professional “ players cry about the setup was, IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFICULT!!! It’s about who can negotiate this course and win! It should be the most difficult test of golf, your making millions playing the game so why cry? Go home if it’s too difficult! Who wants to see -24 in a major? I want to see players struggle like I do on a course. Isn’t this what pro sports is all about? The ability to overcome the opponent and be victorious against all odds? Who wants to watch the Patriots play your local high school football team at the Super Bowl. I don’t get it. It’s not supposed to be easy, generous or otherwise!

    • Tony

      Jun 29, 2018 at 6:48 pm

      You struggle because you do not hit good shots, they are complaining because of good shots not being rewarded, that’s a whole lot different…

  29. Art Williams

    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I love Rocco but he wasn’t there. It was obvious to anyone watching that the USGA almost lost this great course again. Some comments were a bit over the top by a few players but most agreed it was fair, barely. The USGA should know that if someone wins with a final score under par no one aside from them cares. Rocco’s comments just sound like an old guy picking on the new kids.I’m still pulling for Rocco every time he tees it up!

    • Tiger

      Jun 29, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      No One loves Rocco.

      • Jamie

        Jun 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

        Those with principles love Rocco. The phony bandwagoners pretend to love Tiger.

      • Ed

        Jun 29, 2018 at 4:02 pm

        I do. He is one of my favorit golfers ever.

    • DaveJ

      Jun 29, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Agreed. Almost all of the significant criticism came from Saturday afternoon players. Outside of that time period almost everyone said it played tough but fair. The USGA messed up the setup on Saturday and over-corrected on Sunday. It doesn’t make sense to make the greens so fast that a foot of difference in location near the middle of the green is 3-4 shots different in score.

  30. Yoshimi Core

    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Hit the nail on the head! Shut up play or don’t come!

  31. Snapjack

    Jun 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Couldn’t agree more with him. Too bad if it’s tough and not fair. When has golf ever been that? This isn’t just another golf tournament.

  32. The dude

    Jun 29, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Yes he has the right….and the players also have the right to tell him to shut the ###k up…he wasn’t there… his statement has merit…but at some point you have to minimize “chance” on the golf course (due to a jenky set up)

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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19th Hole

Sung Kang finally responds to cheating allegations

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Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled British Open programming, but Sung Kang stated today he still doesn’t think he didn’t anything wrong. “I followed the rules by the rules official…I think I did the right thing,” he said after his opening round at The Open.

Joel Dahmen, if you recall, accused the 31-year-old pro of taking a bad drop at the 10th hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National.

The comments were Kang’s first public remarks since a statement co-released with the PGA Tour which said, “He is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment.”

While he stopped short of giving his side of the story, Kang did indeed make “further comment.”

Here’s some of what he said.

“I did not want to say anything bad about Joel. Because there can be difference of opinions. But the way he just said it on Twitter was not right. There can be different opinions. And also, it was made a decision by the rules official. So nothing was wrong.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened, but no comment because I’m not going to say anything. I think I made the right decision. … Even when I say something, a few people still kind of think i still did something wrong. And if someone believes in me, they aren’t going to trust what Joel said.”

“No matter what I say, some people are going to trust it, some people are not going to trust it. And then I’m going to be thinking about it more and more. So I’m just focusing on my golf game.”

The British press asked Kang if he wishes he had done anything differently.

“No. Why? I did the right thing,” Kang replied.

Now, I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but the rules official wasn’t in position to do anything other than leave things at the player’s discretion, which he did. So, it’s misleading–if not downright deceptive–for Kang to suggest otherwise.

The official didn’t see the shot. There was no video of it. The only thing he had to rely on was the accounts of those who did see it. In a situation where accounts vary, and with the Rules of Golf relying on player integrity as they do, all he could do was leave the ball in Kang’s court. Thus, the decision as to where to drop was wholly Sung Kang’s.

Again, this isn’t to say the drop was necessarily bad, bad to play the “decision by the rules official” card is, well, a bad drop.

 

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