Jun
17
2013
“274? You can’t even reach it!”
By Conor Nagle under US Open

Verbal assault!

The above screencap looks innoccuous enough. Heck, it’s just all-American hero Phil Mickelson staring at the crotch of a man standing in the middle distance. No biggie, right?

Wrong.

It’s actually an image pilfered from last night’s coverage of the US Open final round depicting would-be champion/perennial bridemaid Phil Mickelson as he gives USGA bigwig Mike Davis — owner of the manbits in question — the tongue-lashing of a lifetime.

Frustrated by the tee placement on Merion’s third hole, where he had just carded a double-bogey, Mickelson had what PR types would refer to as a “frank exchange of views” with the USGA executive as he left the fourth tee (video here):

“That’s terrible! 274? You can’t even reach it.”

A notional par-3 of close to 280 yards — most of it carry, uphill and into the wind — the third hole exemplified yesterday the very worst of the USGA’s tendencies when it comes to pushing and pulling venues into an ideologically pleasing shape.

Mickelson wasn’t the only player to take time out from his round to bemoan the setup. His playing partner, Hunter Mahan, reacted to his tee shot at the par-3 with disbelief and not a little indignation:

“I hit a fucking driver? It’s a par-4.”

Davis can count himself fortunate he wasn’t around for that one.

Conor Nagle