Nine-time major winner Gary Player labelled this week's US Open the "most unpleasant" tournament he has ever seen as criticism of Chambers Bay intensified on Saturday.
Masters champion and joint leader Jordan Spieth called the 18th "unbelievably stupid" when played as a par four when he was caught making the comments after making a double-bogey on Friday.
Henrik Stenson compared the greens to "putting on broccoli" - a point he illustrated in typical fashion with a picture on Twitter suggesting he was having broccoli for lunch.
World number one Rory McIlroy joked the putting surfaces were not green enough to be broccoli - "They are more like cauliflower" - and said he was delighted to have already secured one US Open title.
It has taken a remarkably insightful 21-year-old to put a professional perspective on the quirky challenge of Chambers Bay. "If you are going to talk negative about a place," said Jordan Spieth, "you're almost throwing yourself out to begin with because golf is a mental game."
As the US Open surged to a thrilling climax on this day two years ago, Kevin Phelan sat with the game's elite in the players' lounge at Merion, pleased to have gone where no Irish amateur had gone before. There, he marvelled at television images of a winning par from Justin Rose on the 511-yard 18th, which he himself had been satisfied to bogey some hours earlier.