U.S. Open: What To Expect This Week At The Country Club

Jun 14, 2022, 3:27 PM
A general view of the action during the 33rd Ryder Cup from The Country Club, Brookline, USA. The U...
A general view of the action during the 33rd Ryder Cup from The Country Club, Brookline, USA. The USA went on to record a historic last gasp win over Europe. \ Mandatory Credit: Rusty Jarrett /Allsport

SALT LAKE CITY – The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, will be home to the world’s best golfers as they compete for the year’s second major trophy.

Like most U.S. Opens in the past, The Country Club will be a test of a golfer’s discipline and skill. Miss the fairway and you will be met with long, lush rough. While missing the smallest of greens will present monumental challenges in an attempt to save par.

Finding the fairway and greens in regulation any week is paramount on the PGA Tour, but this week it is exaggerated.

Historic Venue

The Country Club has held three U.S. Opens and the 1999 Ryder Cup in its history after being founded in 1882.

Over the years, more than 20 architects have sculpted the layout of this historic venue, most recently Gil Hanse who began his restoration in 2007.

20-year-old former Caddie at The Country Club Francis Ouimet walked across the street to compete as an amateur in the 1913 U.S. Open where he, despite being six shots back following the opening round, clawed his way back to beat Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff to win.

Then in 1963, Julius Boros won in another playoff against Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer. In 1988 Curtis Strange overcame Nick Faldo in a playoff. There is yet to be a U.S. Open held at The Country Club that has not gone to a playoff.

The Elements

In 1963 when Julius Boros solidified his historic victory, he won with a final score of +9. Over the course of four rounds, the wind played a significant role in the player’s ability to score. It was so windy and so difficult that even the world’s best players could not manage anything less than Boros’ nine-over-par.

Furthermore, the layout of the course requires discipline, skill, and execution. Very rarely will you see players this week attacking pin locations, rather, players will be required to hit their approach shots below the hole. Going long will almost always result in a bogey or worse given the length and thickness of the rough.

Given the lush rough, hitting the fairway will also prove pivotal. The size of the greens at The Country Club are amongst the smallest in North America with only Pebble Beach boasting smaller greens at a Championship Course.

Hitting approach shots out of the rough into minuscule greens in potentially windy conditions will not result in positive scoring opportunities. Therefore, many golfers in the field this week will likely hit an array of irons off the tee boxes.

The Course

The penultimate hole on the golf course, the 17th, will likely have the largest say in who wins this week’s major tournament. The 373-yard short dogleg left par 4 should not strike fear into its opposition, that is, until it does. History suggests the 17th, known as “The Elbow”, will be the difference in winning and coming up short.

Ouimet birdied 17 in 1913 in the final hole to help force and made another birdie on 17 in the playoff to help secure his most unlikely of victories. Boros was two shots behind Tony Lema in the 1963 U.S. Open when he birdied and Lema made bogey to pull even while a double bogey and bogey respectively from Cupit and Palmer conceded their chance to win outright. Remarkably, Boros made another birdie at 17 in the playoff to help secure his major victory. Strange three-putted for bogey in 1988 to tie Faldo but was able to recover and win comfortably 71-75 in the playoff.

The golf course is only home to two par 5’s, making easy birdies inexistent. The 619-yard 14th is one of the most brutal par 5’s in all of golf, long, narrow, and steep, terrain control this hole as players look to avoid a blind approach from 150 yards out.

Both the 3rd and 10th holes are listed at 499 yards that weave their way through puddingstone ledges and sharp hillside edges.

Fairway and greenside bunkers permeate throughout the golf course. Greens are sloped from back to front and side to side forcing a lot of movement on almost every putt.

Staying below hole locations will inevitably prove pivotal if golfers intend on competing this week at The Country Club.

LIV Meets The PGA

Earlier last week, the USGA announced that players who had recently left the PGA Tour for the newly founded Saudi-backed LIV Tour that had already qualified for the U.S Open will be allowed to participate.

The news that Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson will be integrating with the likes of outspoken PGA Tour personalities and advocates Justin Thomas and Rory Mcllroy will make for mouth-watering theatre.

How To Watch & Pairings

The mornings will be broadcast via NBC’s streaming platform Peacock before being picked up by USA Today. On Thursday and Friday NBC will begin broadcasting at 2 p.m. and will conclude at 5 p.m. On the weekend, however, NBC will begin broadcasting at 10 a.m. and will finish at the conclusion of every day at 5 p.m.

The purse is set for $12.5 million with the winner set to take home $2.25 million.

Pairings and tee times ahead of the 2022 U.S. Open are yet to be announced. This article will be updated when the information regarding tee times and pairings becomes available.





Kyle Ireland and Tom Hackett, KSL Sports

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U.S. Open: What To Expect This Week At The Country Club