Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick says US Open course is ‘not my cup of tea’

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Hollywood loves a sequel and golf is no different, with Los Angeles Country Club already slated to host the US Open again in 2039.

However, the odds might be against the North Course becoming part of a long-running franchise considering the reviews of the course have not exactly been of the five-star variety.

“I just think the golf course is interesting, to be polite,” was the best review defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick could come up with.

“There’s just too many holes for me where you’ve got blind tee shots and then you’ve got fairways that don’t hold the ball. There’s too much slope.

“I think the greens certainly play better when they’re firmer. They’re rolling really, really well. Some of the tee shots are just a little bit unfair. You hit a good tee shot and end up in the rough by a foot and then you’re hacking it out.


“Meanwhile someone has hit it miles offline the other way and they’ve got a shot. Yeah, not my cup of tea.”

Two-time champion and US PGA winner Brooks Koepka pinpointed some of the problem areas in an interview with GolfWeek.

“On eight, you can hit it where it barely lands on the left side and still miss the fairway right,” he said. “And everybody hits it to the same spot on three. Like why don’t we just play it from the wedge area? It makes no sense.”

The sloping fairway on the 10th caused a similar issue and even players who said they like the course, including world number one Scottie Scheffler, had some issues with the set-up.

“It can be frustrating at times with how firm the greens are and how much softer the fairways are,” Scheffler said.

“On seven yesterday (Friday) it’s just frustrating that my ball lands just short of the green yesterday and barely gets onto the green.

“Max’s (Homa) ball lands a foot on to the green and goes over the green. The only guy who actually got a look for birdie was Collin (Morikawa) and he yelled ‘fore’ because he thought he was going to hit the volunteer in the left rough.”

The layout and topography of the course has also been criticised for contributing to a lack of atmosphere, with the USGA limiting the daily attendance to 22,000, with around 9,000 tickets on general sale.

Grandstand seating around the 18th green is also severely restricted for various reasons, with the first hole running parallel, the ninth green and 10th tee being in close proximity and, perhaps most importantly, no enthusiasm from members to erect a grandstand directly in front of their clubhouse.

Tournament organisers told Golf Digest they are considering allowing spectators to walk down the 18th fairway behind the final group on Sunday, as long as there is no prospect of a play-off.

Of course, whoever lifts the trophy on Sunday evening will probably not care about any issues with the course, with joint leaders Rickie Fowler and Wyndham Clark seeking a first major title and Rory McIlroy his fifth after a wait of 3,234 days.


The last 24 US Open winners – and 48 of the last 49 – were within four shots of the lead entering the final round, meaning Scheffler and Harris English also come into the equation.

With popcorn in hand it will make for fascinating viewing.

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