A Review of Merion - By Someone Who Played It
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/20/13
Geoff Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Or perhaps we could say that he survived the 2006 Open at Winged Foot; his winning score was +5 (285), although that Open might be remembered more for Phil Mickelson's mental error that cost him the championship, as well as for the mind-numbing scores registered by the field.

Having also gone through this year's "Meat-Grinder At Merion," Ogilvy has piped in with an assessment of Merion Golf Club under Open conditions, as devised by USGA Executive Director Mike Davis.

Ogilvy's feedback is balanced between the good...
"I also loved the greens, which tend to be more tilted than undulating, offering the chance to hit some inventive shots. I especially liked the very cool fifth green. On Friday I landed my approach on the fringe maybe 30 feet from the cup, from where it rolled slowly down to the hole. Had conditions underfoot been a bit firmer, I would have been able to land that same shot maybe 10 yards farther back, the ball spending even more time on the ground. It reminded me of why links golf is so special."
...and the not-so-good:
"I would like to see dry, 'flier' rough rather than the 'chip-out' long grass we had at Merion. Maybe the wet weather precluded doing anything about the thickness of the rough, but it would have been nice to see guys attempting risky recovery shots (perhaps the most exciting aspect of professional golf) rather than hacking out 50 yards or so up the fairway."
Gentleman that he is, Ogilvy bypassed the opportunity to criticize Davis for turning short par-4s into par-3s, as well as Davis' now-usual trick of 530-yard par-4s.

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Image via Flickr, Steven Newton

[ comments ]
chipotle mg says:
I thought it was an exciting open and a good set up for the professionals. Rose hitting his 4 iron into the last green was about as hoganesque as it gets. I will forever remember him hitting that shot and getting up and down for par for the win. The course , with it's history, was as good as it could have been and presented as such. It could have been much much worse if the course was really unfit for play. Kudos to the USGA for bypassing hospitality and ticket money and bring the open to a smaller more historic venue for the good of the game.
legitimatebeef says:
I agree chipotl, the setup made for an unbelievably tense finish. And I am not even big Rose fan. I could barely stand to watch it. Also agree about Rose's 18th--I'll always remember it. If that had been Tiger, or Phil or Rors, or another famous guy, people would still be talking about what a legendary clutch par, and the echoes of Hogan and what not. The US media kind of glossed over it, was more interested in Phil coming in second.

Too bad Ogilvy isn't an elite player anymore. He seems cool.
GBogey says:
I loved seeing the pros hitting 5I-5W on approach shots and needing 3 good shots for a par 5 - made it a great open. And as discussed last week made them play golf the way the rest of us do (even if the course was ridiculously harder than what we play). I don't think they use these clubs on approach shots often on a normal basis, and when they do it is usually attacking par 5's. On the other hand, I wondered at times if the rain let the rough get too out of hand - I think that it seemed more brutal than most opens. I also thought the one par 3 got out of hand on Sunday - no one should need driver to reach a par 3. But overall, probably the best open in many years with the exception of the great Tiger / Rocco matchup.
jeffcroupier says:
is that really a photo of Geoff Ogilvy?
Torleif Sorenson says:
It is.
Matt F says:
beef, Ive met him and he is pretty cool. Most of us Aussies are! LOL
Torleif Sorenson says:
No argument here; Aussies are also the authors of the best and most exciting code of football in the entire world (Australian rules football).
Matt F says:
I don't know about aussie rules being the best and most exciting code Tor...we'll agree to disagree on that one. :-)
joe jones says:
One of our pro's that plays too a 2 index played a member /guest at Merion earlier this year and said he shot 102. Course setup was not as hard as the Open but nicknamed the Tough Golf Tournament. He said it was the most difficult course he has ever played.
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