• Justin Rose critical of ‘incredibly weak’ course set-up
• The Englishman lost his singles match to Rickie Fowler
• “The pin on 17 was an absolute, you know, a joke,” he said
The 2013 US Open champion, who claimed two points from a possible five, lost to Rickie Fowler on the final hole of his singles match as Europe went down 17-11 as USA won the Ryder Cup for the first time in eight years.
“I thought the setup was incredibly weak” – Justin Rose
And while the European team was largely in good spirits following the defeat – with captain Darren Clarke saying he couldn’t be more proud of the team – Rose couldn’t help but get his feelings about the course off his chest.
“Setup-wise, this course can be as tough as you want it to be, there’s no doubt about it,” said Justin Rose on Hazeltine, which also hosted the US PGA Championship in 2002 and 2009. “I think today, I think if we were all to be honest about it, I thought the setup was incredibly weak. I thought it was very much a Pro-Am feel in terms of the pin placements. They were all middle of the green.
“The pin on 17 was an absolute, you know, a joke” – Justin Rose
“I don’t quite understand that to be honest with you. Twelve world-class players here and 12 world-class players here in 30 minutes time, and we want to showcase our skills. We want to be tested. For example, the water holes out there, all the pins were as far away from the water as possible.
“I mean, the pin on 17 was an absolute, you know, a joke. It’s a 9-iron into the middle of the green and you stiff it. So with a match on the line, you kind of feel like you want to have something — you want a player to step up a little bit more than they have to.”
But Fowler disagreed.
“I don’t think it was easy by any means,” he said. “Him and I didn’t play as well as we would have liked to. We didn’t make many birdies on both sides. I felt like it was an even match between the two of us. Obviously, as you could see, no one was ever more than 1UP.
“I thought that the PGA did well all week, Kerry Haigh and the staff. Obviously when it comes down to singles, it’s fair. Everyone’s playing the same ones. So I thought it was a good setup today and it worked out just fine for us.”
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