Tough, uncompromising, controversial? That tends to be the way at a US Open.
The USGA often seem so hell-bent on protecting par, you half expect them to put a police cordon around the greens.
Stephen Gallacher may not have played in “any of the really brutal ones” but his three appearances in the US Open down the years have given him an appreciation of the event’s extreme, often excessive, rigours.
The Scot would have loved to have been at Shinnecock Hills this week but his wider duties in golf gave him plenty of satisfaction yesterday as he helped unveil The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and Leuchie House, a respite centre in East Lothian, as the official charity partner of next month’s Scottish Open at Gullane.
Gallacher will have to settle for watching the US Open unfold from afar but he is relishing the examination that lies in wait for the great and the good of the global game.
“It could be a brute this week,” he said. “Shinnecock is always windy and if the course stays firm the winning score could be over par.
And that’s what they [the USGA] want. “Do I like that? It’s a once
a year thing. You would
never want it all the time.
But punters like to see the
top guys struggle in a perverse way.
“It has always been renowned as the toughest test in golf. It’s more psychological than anything. You just have to have high acceptance levels and know that eight-over-par might make the cut.”
Given all that, Gallacher has his own favourite for honours in mind. “Justin Rose is always very good mentally going into this type of tournament,” he added.
“He won at Merion (in 2013) at one-over-par. And that was 600 yards shorter than this place. The other thing is that he has the bit between his teeth to try to get to No.1 in the world. I fancy him to have a really good week.”
Source : HeraldScotland