Was Paul Lawrie right to skip the US Open?
By Conor Nagle under European PGA Tour

Paul Lawrie: heresy!

Speaking to John Huggan in advance of this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, home favourite Paul Lawrie again explained his decision to skip last month’s US Open Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

Desperate for Ryder Cup points and a strong finish to the season, the 1999 Open champion was unwilling to risk his form in the pursuit of USGA-approved technical purity.

“While I must admit I didn’t watch much of the play, the number of people who have since told me I missed nothing has been reassuring…

“From what I did see it looked like the sort of course I wouldn’t have enjoyed playing. I’ve never been a fan of that style of golf. I could have gone over there and destroyed all the confidence I have built up over the last year or so. So, although I take no pleasure from the fact that I made the right decision not to go, I’m glad I did what I did.”

It’s rare to hear a player back up contempt for the USGA’s ideological activism by deciding not to attend the tournament; we’re more used to hearing American players dream up excuses for skipping the Open Championship.

Either way, is it ever right to skip a major championship? Is attendance a question of decorum and respect for the game, regardless of the venue or set-up?

Conor Nagle

(link via Shackelford)