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For those who don’t know, the PGA Tour is not responsible for any of the four major tournaments. In fact, each is put on by a different governing body. The USGA organizes the US Open. And former champions Matt Fitzpatrick and Brooks Koepka both took shots at this week’s set up at Los Angeles Country Club.
After Friday’s second round, Koepka said he didn’t think Los Angeles Country Club was fit for a US Open Championship.
“I’m not a huge fan of this place,” Koepka told reporters. “I’m not a huge fan of blind tee shots… and then I think there’s just some spots that no matter what you hit, the ball just ends up in the same spot. I think it would be more fun to play on just like a regular round than it would be a U.S. Open.”
That’s pretty harsh criticism for the course. Fun to play a regular round? That doesn’t even sound like he thinks any high-level competitive tournament should be held at LACC.
And, he’s not the only one.
Last year’s champion, Matt Fitzpatrick, also took aim at the course.
“Yeah, I just think the golf course is interesting, to be polite, I think,” Fitzpatrick said, according to Golf Digest. “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.
“Some of the tee shots are just—I think they’re 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.”
Matt Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka and others not loving several aspects of this year’s US Open at Los Angeles Country Club
But Fitzpatrick had another — perhaps larger — gripe about this year’s US Open: the atmosphere.
Golf reporter Dan Rapaport asked Fitzpatrick about the vibe around LACC this week.
“Very poor,” Fitzpatrick responded. “It’s disappointing on the USGA side. They want a great tournament—from what I’ve heard a lot of members bought tickets and that’s why there’s so many less people. Hopefully it’s not the same for other U.S. Opens going forward.”
I’ve watched several of the rounds on TV with my dad (Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the other dads out there!) and his buddies after rounds of golf this weekend. All of them remarked at how sparse the crowds look, especially on Thursday and Friday.
Generally, people in Los Angeles don’t show up. That was always going to be an issue. I asked OutKick golf bettor Geoff Clark — who lives in Long Beach, CA — if he planned on attending.
“No chance,” he said. “I’m not sitting in traffic for two hours.”
The best part about major golf tournaments is the atmosphere and the crowd. All of the iconic moments involve massive galleries surrounding and watching the best players in the world.
I spoke to PGA Tour caddie Geno Bonnalie prior to the tournament and he said that major tournament atmospheres are indescribable, usually.
But apparently, this week’s is very describable. And according to Fitzpatrick, it’s described as “very poor.”
Then you add in the fact that co-leader Wyndham Clark complained about the very late tee times on Saturday and it sounds like the players are not happy about this setup, at all. And their complaints range from the course, to the crowd, to the tee times.
That’s not good. This is the US Open.
Be better, USGA.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak