Righting the Wrong
Right scores, wrong course.Thats what U.S. Golf Association executive director Mike Davis must have been thinking as he watched the action unfold at Aronimink Golf Club a measured slug-fest where par has not succumbed to the inflationary realities of the modern game and hitting fairways matters.Its a dramatic contrast to Congressional and this years U.S. Open an event some say was an Open in name only.Contrasting weather conditions, of course, dictate most of what transpired at Congressional where Rory McIlroy mowed down centurys old scoring records, to say nothing of a stunned field and on Thursday at Aronimink. clubs golfAt Congressional hot and dry preceded a predictably wet week, the nuclear option for set-up types, while PGA Tour officials enjoyed the preferred opposite, rain in the weeks leading up to the ATT National and cloudless sunshine this week.On Tuesday defending ATT National champion Justin Rose tweeted, It could be more U.S. Open [than] the U.S. Open was, and on Thursday the Englishmans sage predictions played out perfectly.The Round 1 scoring average at Aronimink was 71.499, 1.499 strokes over par; well ahead of Sundays average at TPC Pincushion . . . eh, make that Congressional (71.444 average, .444 over par).Twenty-eight players posted sub-par scores on Thursday at the ATT National, compared to 32 on Sunday at Congressional, achat mat?riel golf a collection that included McIlroys silly 69 to complete his Open march. This course is set up like a U.S. Open, said Joe Ogilvie, whose 3-under 67 wedged him into a tie for third place. The fairways are a little bit wider, but its definitely playing very similar . . . except for this years U.S. Open. Tour officials got the weather the USGA was hoping for, but to hear the rank-and-file make the obvious comparisons on Thursday its impossible not to think that maybe ATT National got the golf course the blue blazers wanted as well. mat?riel de golf en promotion This golf course is a lot firmer (than Congressional), said Robert Garrigus, whose opening 68 is two strokes off the pace set by Adam Scott and Hunter Haas. The rough is thicker and the greens are firmer and I dont think double digits (under par) is going to win this week. I think right around 10 under par will get it done this week. Garrigus, who tied for third at Congressional for co-low American honors, lets that statement linger in the air for a moment before adding, Were going to have fun at Olympic next year. mat?riel de golf The Olympic Club is scheduled to host next years national championship and caddie yard wisdom suggests that Davis and the USGA will want to prove that they havent gone soft when they set up the 2012 venue. But thats a different column, and a much different golf course.Similarly, Aronimink is being viewed much differently, perhaps even as a more worthy Grand Slam test, than Congressional. Its a fact that likely explains why Kerry Haigh, the PGA of Americas top set-up man, was lurking about the Donald Ross gem on Thursday.Aronimink hasnt hosted a regular mens major since the 1962 PGA Championship, and has been the site of just two USGA championships (97 U.S. Junior and 77 U.S. Amateur) in its 115-year history.