As golf’s top players ready themselves for the US Open, teeing-off on June 12 at Pinehurst, questions are beginning to arise as to whether the championship’s popularity is on the slide.
The Us Open can be controversial at times; some claiming it is too difficult, a war of attrition rather than a spectacle or enthralling golf. Whatever the reason, this year’s championship, due to a number of factors, could prove to be the most underwhelming major of the year.
Five reasons the US Open may struggle
The game’s top players aren’t in form
It is as simple as that. We all like to see golf’s best players battling it out at the biggest events, it creates the most drama, and you can’t help but feel you’re witnessing history. However, hardly any of the game’s top-20 have won this year. Sergio Garcia is fighting injury, Phil Mickelson’s run of bad form continues, and players like Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson have been inconsistent.
The course will be too difficult
It has become a trademark over the years that the US Open provides the sternest test of the season. In recent years the line between a spirited battle between player and course and course set up for golfers to fail has become blurred. More than likely this time around the rough will again be too thick, the course again too long and a score around even-par will win the championship.
Love him or hate him, when Tiger Woods is playing in any event, particularly a major, that tournament is the better for it. The absence of golf’s main attraction will reduce ticket sales, TV viewership, and outside interest in the US Open. For many golf fans there is nothing quite like seeing Tiger in contention at any time during a major, and TV ratings are proof of that.
Phil Mickelson won’t complete the Grandslam
I’m sure most of us would like to see it, but I’m afraid form like this doesn’t point to a major win, especially with the added pressure of a Grandslam.
The players don’t enjoy themselves.
Not exactly hard to believe considering the task that is laid out before them, but yes, more the a few players are glad to see the back of US Open week. “You sit in the player dining or in the locker room at the end of the week and look around and guys are ready to get out of there. They get beat up,” Martin Laird told bunkered earlier this year.
“There’s one person at the end of the week who has enjoyed the US Open and it’s the winner.”