2012 U.S. OPEN
No doubt, Webb Simpson is a classy player who edged
a strong field. He did so on an Olympic Club Lake course
spectacularly conditioned by Pat Finlen’s crew and where,
The stern, stuffy and stilted USGA of old reappeared at
Olympic Club when a decidedly retro U.S. Open broke out.
You know, the rough-and-grumble type relegated to the days
before Mike Davis introduced his propensity for sometimes
seemingly kinder, gentler touches to spice up the sometimes
dreary, par-protecting-at-all-costs national championship.
But wait, this was a Davis-helmed Open, and it harkened
back to the days when the USGA seemed intent on defending an imaginary ideal of stifling difficulty instead of producing a complete champion.
The lackluster vibe wasn’t for a lack of trying by Davis, as
he brought out his usual bag of course setup tricks to test the
mental and physical skills of the 156-man field. But maybe
Davis, aided by championship committee chair Tom O’Toole,
appeared to try a little too hard to instill old-style USGA difficulty after last year’s record scoring. Because for all of the
intrigue added by short-grass areas, varied tee locations and
meticulously planned hole locations, there was a sense that
Olympic Club could not be attacked.
Specifically, the fast-running 20- to 28-yard wide fairways were simply too narrow and unforgiving for players
to consider any kind of substantial risk-taking. Davis did
not agree with that assessment moments before the final
“One thing I will not come away with on this Open is that