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Golf: Oakmont – Taming the Monster

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“On a day when Adam Scott shot an 82, Phil Mickelson a 77 and 154 of 156 had failed to beat par, at least one of their rank had tamed the monster.”
James Corrigan is recalling Paul Casey’s remarkable round at the Oakmont U.S. Open of 2007

In appreciation of how good it was
James writes, “If anything is the ideal gauge of how tough Oakmont is then it was surely the applause the Englishman received from his fellow competitors after completing his 66 nine years ago. Having started on the 10th, Casey finished on the ninth and when the pros on the practice green looked up at the leaderboard and saw these startling red figures amid a sea of blue, they dropped their putters and showed their appreciation,” and it has been suggested that the members were not amused because they take pride in their ferociously fast greens and furrowed bunkers.

Gluttons for punishment
Jim Fuyrk says of the Oakmont members, “I don’t know if they’re gluttons for punishment, but they are very proud of their course.”

As someone who takes no pleasure on the occasions where the greens at Titirangi and Muriwai are running very fast I’ve never understood why the Oakmont members revel in regularly playing on very fast greens.
Or perhaps they don’t.
James writes, Furyk said. “I think a lot of them hold memberships at other clubs so as not to get their rear end kicked all the time.”
So there’s the answer to my question. They take cover from their tortuous greens by frequently playing elsewhere.

Here’s the link to James Corrigan

Quote of the Day
“Let the clumsy, the spineless and the alibi makers stand aside.” -  W C Fownes defending his father’s decision to produce such a difficult test of golf.
PS
“When his father, Henry Clay Fownes, designed the layout in 1903 he did so with the intent of replicating the unyielding nature of the links he encountered during his formative years in Britain,” however I must that the furrowed bunkers were something he dreamed up since there’s nothing like them in Scotland.

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