Tomorrow, the 2013 US Open tournament begins at Merion, which is located a few miles from Philly, and, this Open is very much awaited by all in our area. The Philly area has 2 of golf's jewels, Merion and Pine Valley, both usually included among list of the 10 best in the US. Among Merion's claims to history are: it's hosted more USGA championships than any other course, Bobby Jones won his grand slam in 1930 by clinching the US Amateur there, Hogan won his Open following his devestating auto accident , and, Trevino beat Nicklaus to win the 72 Open in a playoff. I was there for the US Amateur several years ago, and, did not believe that Merion could stand up to the modern Pro tour as there are at least 6 very short holes. I spend a few hours there on Tuesday, when it was drying out. It's great to see so many of the Pro's react to the crowds and sign autographs...Bubba among them plus defending champ Webb Simpson. Tiger could not care less about interacting with the crowd.
On the PGA tour, Merion is mostly unplayed as the last Open there was in 1982, and, won by Assie David Graham at 7 under par. It's short, at 7000 yards, by modern standards, plus, the grounds are very minimal for spectators and space to support Open facilities. Some are calling this the "botique" Open as the course does not fit the footprint of typical Open courses. All are praying for dry weather to put some teeth into the course, but, it's rained over 6 inches this week, with a severe storm expected tomorrow. Merion's strength is small, very fast greens and deep rough...which has benefitted from all the recent rain.
Philpug and I have been discussing this Open with much anticipation. I believe he has played Merion ( not easy to do as it's very private). I played there once in my youth, so memories escape me. I will always regret being unable to accomodate a last minute invitation to play there several years ago, damn, sometimes a real job can be a PITA.
My personal picks are: American Matt Kucher, No. Ireland's Graham McDowell and from the International set...Adam Scott. The Philly native in me will always pull for Jim Furyk.
This weekend will be spent glued to the tube.
Edited by Living Proof - 6/12/13 at 7:34pm