Larry Canning: Call me a sick old perv, but I just love the US Open

Larry CanningBy Larry Canning.

The US Open has a distinctly different feel to any other Major and there’s been many terms and phrases most of which are now corny clichés used to describe this amazing annual spectacle.

Brutal, evil, fierce, unfair, cruel, macabre, flat out nasty, the opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan”, having a leisurely stroll along the Kokoda, the players don’t arrive in limo’s, they are lowered out of a Blackhawks, “On the 1st, it took me 3 minutes to find my ball and 4 minutes to find my caddy” etc.

Call me morbid or just a sick old perv who enjoys watching the world’s best players being constantly harassed by a course that should be arrested for stealing the hopes and dreams from professional golfers – but I love it.

C’mon readers, you know you do too!

So what’s this year’s battlefield, The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts, going to do to our frightened competitors?

2022 US Open venue The Country Club

In terms of length, and keep in mind it’s a par 70, Brookline is pretty short… 7264 yards to be exact. Last year when John Rahm-Rod stormed home to take the biscuits, Torrey Pines was 7,652 – 2020’s Winged Foot was 7,477.

However… if you look at pure length versus scoring there is a fascinating and somewhat surprising pattern. I’ve always held the opinion that lengthening courses to combat the crazy length the ball now travels actually flies in the face of its own objective. The longer the courses the more the Yeti’s dominate. The so called shorter layouts with strategically designed green complexes present the purest form of golf and how it should be played. I’m still telling what’s left of my bored mates how Royal Melbourne and its magnificently designed 7090 yards presented every player in 2019’s Presidents Cup a golf course where the only advantage was having a half decent IQ.

I know I’ve written this before but its worth repeating. I need to exclude the quirky Pebble Beach from my argument because its main defence is the wind which didn’t blow a sniff for four days in the 2019 Open (plus it doesn’t suit my point) but since 2012 the highest three scores to par in US Opens were recorded on the three shortest courses.

At 7,264 yards Brookline may not intimidate the lads with length but the newly redesigned greens by Gil Hanse will definitely make the job of devising a shot shape an imperative for success. Throw in the usual knee high rough and greens running at around 35 on the old stimpy and 2022 would seem to be another great perv for a jealous aged pro. I’d also like to see some footage from the final qualifying events. I just came across a list of qualifiers from one of the courses and it looked like a leaderboard from The Players Championship!! I saw 12 recent winners in the States in the top 16. Did you know the USGA received 9,264 entries?

So should we talk about the elephant in the room – the LIV Golf Series? That’s on in June as well you know. The first event is being played on the 9th June at the Centurion Club London then off to Pumpkin Ridge in the States three weeks later.

For those who may not be aware of the controversy surrounding this break-away tour and the international competition that has been created as an off shoot called “Greg Norman bashing”, just google it.

The Shark is a bit older than me and in his day easily the best player on the planet. I, like most other young Aussie Pro’s wanted to be Greg Norman. Actually, I didn’t realise how much until I saw him walking along a beach with his dog. Unfortunately his comments, when pressed by the media have given his critics more fuel than Saudi Arabia sell in a year.

I’m going to be watching it due to the need to get a handle on it. The format for #1, with the team component and the condensed field with a shotgun start over all 3 days and for #2, the thought of watching an unknown player with not much more money than me, nervously shuffling down a fairway trying to hold onto a lead where the winners purse is 4 million $US, is intriguing. I reckon the lack of multi-billionaire players will make it way more interesting!

So its LIV in London first then the US Open in Massachusetts second, and given how a major fires me up plus I’m expecting my new set of professionally fitted Cobra LTDX irons any day now, maybe me in the Mt Broughton Wednesday single Stableford third.

See you next month!  

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