US Open 2019: Remembered for the right reasons at Pebble Beach
Last Updated: 17/06/19 7:58am
After several controversy-affected US Opens in recent years, Ewen Murray gives his verdict on an entertaining week at Pebble Beach.
I'm very thankful to have the US Open back, as it has been lost in controversy over the past few years. They were all incidents that the USGA did not need and had to avoid a repeat of this week.
Chambers Bay in 2015 was a golfing disaster, then we had the incident at Oakmont a year later where Dustin Johnson and Shane Lowry did not know who was winning during the final round.
Erin Hills was not up to the challenge of holding a major championship, while Shinnecock Hills, one of America's great courses, was left almost unplayable on the Saturday last year.
The USGA used to be obsessed with level par being the winning total and that really does not matter, whereas this week they left the golf course alone and let the challenge be Pebble Beach itself.
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The course was fair as it penalised poor shots and rewarded really good shots, as the greens were firm enough for that. You have to let the golfers play and when you give them the stage, they can act to see who comes out on top.
That's what golf is meant to be and when you look at the top 20 this week, it's littered with major champions and Gary Woodland has beaten them all.
That was one of the best major leaderboards we have seen for some time from Saturday morning all the way through to Sunday evening, so the confidence Woodland will gain from beating these players and in the way he did will be immense.
Koepka had to settle for second and his major record over the past couple of years continues to be off the scale. You have to feel for him a little as he's the only player in history to lose the US Open with four rounds in the 60s and did everything he could, but you have to credit Woodland for being a worthy champion.
The tournament heads to Winged Foot next year and the USGA will not have to do anything around there. Ben Hogan once said it's one of the toughest tests in the United States and it is a very difficult golf course.
It is full of tough, dangerous holes, so there's need to grow the rough up high just off the fairway. Just let the players play and Winged Foot will defend itself, just like I think Pebble Beach did this week.