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Player: Most unpleasant event I've seen


Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Getty Images

Rory McIlroy

Nine-time Major winner Gary Player has labelled this US Open the "most unpleasant" tournament he has seen.

The course at Chambers Bay has come in for heavy criticism in some quarters, with half-way joint leader Jordan Spieth calling the 18th "a dumb hole" when played as a par four and Henrik Stenson comparing the greens to "putting on broccoli".

And on the 50th anniversary of his sole US Open victory at Bellerive, Player laid the blame at the door of course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr.

"We're playing the US Open, this great championship . . . but this has been the most unpleasant golf tournament I've seen in my life," said 79-year-old Player. "The man who designed this golf course had to have one leg shorter than the other.

"This is a public course where we are trying to encourage people to come and play and get more playing the game. They are having a putt from 20 feet and they are allowing 20 feet right and 20 feet left.

"You don't bring the US Open to golf courses like this. This is devastating. To see a man miss the green by one yard and end up 50 yards down there, caddies falling and hurting their ankles and knees, players falling . . . this is terrible.

"It's actually a tragedy - 7,900 yards long. An average golfer playing this course, a 15 or 16 handicap, he is going to shoot 110 and not go home a very happy man.

"We have to make golf quicker and more enjoyable. We are going about it the wrong way. They are building these crazy courses as a defence against the ball going too far. We have to cut the ball back.

"You have got to give the architect the blame. It's impossible to play these golf courses. Did you see how these pros were three-putting one after the other? Sergio (Garcia) three-putted the 18th to make the cut. I tell you, there have never been so many people to miss the cut that are so happy to go home."

In response, Jay Blasi, one of the design team behind Chambers Bay, wrote on Twitter: "Greatly respect @garyplayer and agree with many of his goals for golf but he is uninformed as it relates to @ChambersBayGolf #studyfirst."

Chambers Bay played to 7,695 yards in the second round, making it the longest course in US Open history. The previous longest was 7,643 yards at Torrey Pines in 2008.

Rory McIlroy, clearly frustrated during the week too, was frustrated for different reasons last night - at not getting back into contention after a third round 70 to remain four over par.

McIlroy marked his par on the 18th with a mock celebration after finally holing a lengthy putt.

"I missed seven good chances on the back nine, or seven makeable putts, anyway," said McIlroy, who dropped shots on the 11th and 15th. "It was just nice to see one drop at the last there. I feel like I turned a 65 into a 70 today.

He joked about Stenson's comment, "I don't think they're as green as broccoli. I think they're more like cauliflower.

"They are what they are, everyone has to putt on them. It's all mental."

Sunday Indo Sport