No matter who comes out on top this weekend, the 2018 U.S. Open is going to be remembered by the cruelty of the Shinnecock Hills golf course. As of now, Dustin Johnson leads the entire field, and he is two over par.
Scoring conditions have been rough all tournament long thus far. Some golfers are pretty fed up.
Two-time major champion Zach Johnson has had rounds of 73, 73, and 72 strokes. He sits in a tie for 17th place at +8.
After his round today, Zach Johnson sounded like a disappointed parent in describing the course at Shinnecock Hills, which says has been lost.
From his interview with Sky Sports.
From the clip above:
“It’s pretty much gone. Specifically the latter part of the day for us is pretty much shot, which is unfortunate. It’s, in my opinion, some of the best land and certainly one of the best venues in all of golf, specifically in this country, it's as good as it gets. Shinnecock Hills is beautiful, but unfortunately, they’ve lost the golf course."
“I feel for the membership right now, a lot of them are really good friends of mine. I feel for the spectators who are seeing absolute pure carnage, unless they want to. I don't know if that's their intent. I feel for the USGA because I don’t think that was their overall intent from the very beginning.
“When it comes to things that have happened in the past, you got to err on the side of a conservative nature, a conservative approach. And that wasn’t done today.”
The "things that have happened in the past" piece of that quote is likely in reference to the 2004 U.S. Open, held at the same venue. That tournament also featured brutal conditions.
And yet, there is a good chance that the scores in 2004 will ultimately end up being better than those this weekend. Retief Goosen won that tournament at -4, edging out Phil Mickelson (-2).