US Open: Jordan Spieth defends USGA over recent US Open controversies
Last Updated: 11/06/19 7:56pm
Jordan Spieth has defended the record of the USGA after several controversial US Opens and expects some "fantastic" tournaments in the years to come.
Spieth's second major championship came at Chambers Bay in 2015, but not without criticism of the USGA, particularly over the condition of the greens.
Indeed, Spieth's irritation at the set-up of the final hole in part caused the USGA to act. The initial plan was to play the 18th as a par five on the Thursday and Saturday and as a par four on the Friday and Sunday, but after Spieth called the par four version "the dumbest hole I've ever played", the USGA changed it to a par five on the final day.
With Dustin Johnson's win in 2016 marred by the contentious penalty given to him during the final round and the greens at Shinnecock Hills in 2018 proving hugely unpopular - prompting Phil Mickelson to hit a moving ball in frustration - organisers are hoping for a smoother week at Pebble Beach over the next few days.
And Spieth said despite the recent problems, the tournaments still ended with the right champions on Sunday.
"I think there's been a couple of tough breaks for the USGA," he said.
"I think overall we're going to see a trend going forward of some fantastic championships, I have no doubt. I think recent history was just kind of a bit unlucky, one golf course played a lot easier.
"You had a rules thing and some greens that ended up not the way that they were supposed to be going.
"I don't know necessarily if all the blame for all that goes to one place or a number of places, or there shouldn't be any blame in general.
"If we're going to look at 2015. I was playing the best going in, and so was Dustin and J. Day, and look at the leaderboard on Sunday.
"Maybe it wasn't ideal conditions, but it didn't separate who was playing the best that week. Same with DJ was playing the best at Oakmont, he ends up winning.
"I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that's what you want to do in majors, you want to separate who is playing the best from who's not.
"And I don't see how that's not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone a hundred per cent perfectly and it didn't, necessarily.
"But I think we're set up in the upcoming years to go places this championship has had great championships before. And therefore it's a nice blueprint to go off of where it's less likely for any uncertainty, other than weather, to have anything less than a great championship."
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