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Today, I want to welcome Tiger Woods to the casual golf movement.
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Winged Foot is going to crush everyone
The US Open is here, and Winged Foot looks like it is ready to devour the entire field of 144 this week. If you’ve seen videos from caddies and players, you know the rough is thick and gnarly. It looks to be 4-5 inches in places. They may cut it down a little in preparation for the championship, but players should expect to have to gouge the ball out of the rough. This may be the first fall Open in 90 years, but it’s going to be a traditional Open for those of us who grew up in the era predating Mike Davis.
From what we’ve been told, the fairways will be a bit wider than we might otherwise expect — more how the Winged Foot membership sees it every day. However, without fans and galleries to trample down the deep rough on the rope line, the biggest misses should face the biggest penalties.
It seems like the USGA is going to deliver an over-par winning score, or they’re going to come awfully close to it. The members want over par to win, and with a par-70 scorecard on a course rated at 77.6, it looks like they’re going to get it.
The Great Wall of Dinah decides the ANA
I warned last week that the ANA Inspiration could be decided in part by an eyesore behind the green at the island-green par-5 18th hole.
I get why the wall was built, but I can't support it unless there are hidden trampolines in several places on the wall. https://t.co/2uacgJFTGB
— Ryan Ballengee (@RyanBallengee) September 10, 2020
And, sure enough, the Great Wall of Dinah — as dubbed by Scott Michaux and Beth Ann Nichols — played a role. Mirim Lee and Brooke Henderson both struck the wall with their second shots into the 72nd hole. Lee took a drop and chipped in for eagle, which was her third chip-in of the day, to get into a playoff. Henderson’s went under the wall, but she took a drop and then made birdie to get in a playoff. Nelly Korda, who led before those two played the 18th, made par in regulation that could have meant the win in another universe.
On the first playoff hole, Lee was the only player to make 4, and she won her first major title.
The wall looked bad, but it was available to everyone to use. Lee’s caddie acknowledged they were planning to use it on Sunday and did, and any other player could have done — and probably did do — the same. Unfortunately, this is yet another controversial ending to the ANA Inspiration, following on the Lexi Thompson four-shot penalty from a few years ago.
You gotta check out…
Tiger Woods looking casual at Winged Foot: On Sunday, Tiger was at Winged Foot, getting in a practice nine. He wore an untucked, collar-less golf shirt, pants and looked very comfortable. I’m all for it. This is great golf all the same, regardless of how people are dressed. A more relaxed dress code in golf is a good thing.