GOLF: The Olympic Club's opening six holes were a major talking point among the players during the build-up to last week's US Open and the problems they posed during yesterday's final round vindicated their concerns.
Described by Tiger Woods as the toughest start to any tournament, those six holes derailed several players as the year's second major approached its climax, Woods himself dropping six strokes in that span.
"The first six, I just didn't play well at all," a frustrated Woods said after shooting a three-over-par 73 to tie for 21st at seven over.
"I just could never get anything going positively and I missed the ball in the wrong side a couple times and that's all it takes. It's tough starting out."
Yesterday, three-time US Open champion Woods began bogey, bogey, double-bogey, par, bogey, bogey, scuppering any chance he had of winning.
"It's probably the hardest six holes ever starting out at an event," added Woods.
Fellow American Webb Simpson, who won by one shot, also struggled over the first six holes with bogeys at the second and fifth.
"But I didn't think anything of it because I knew I had (hole) seven coming up and a few other birdie holes on the back (nine)," Simpson said after closing with a two-under 68.
"I definitely thought about winning and wanted to win, but I was just trying to keep my mind focused on the hole that I was playing and just somehow make pars."
"If you can get through those (six holes) in one or two over par, I can promise you you're going to be beating most of the rest of the field," United States Golf Association executive director Mike Davis said before the tournament.
As Woods can testify with his nightmare start yesterday, Davis was right.