Monday, June 2, 2008

Muirfield Village - Additional Verdict

Steve Flesch is not a fan of the setup at Memorial. And he blames it on Jack Nicklaus.

No player came to town this week saying, "Please groove the bunkers and make the rough tall enough to hide rhinos."

Who, then?

"It's a four-letter word, and he runs this place," Flesch said.


"Jack (Nicklaus) is the only one who wants this rough, believe me. This is like going to Bay Hill. It's Arnie (Palmer's) setup" there, said Flesch. "I don't want to cross a line, but ..." Flesch paused here, then continued. What the heck. "It's their tournament, their golf course. Jack can do whatever the hell he wants."

The Golden Bear would like The Memorial to be the fifth major championship. Or at least have it play like the fifth major. "Yeah, but the problem is, we're playing (a major, the U.S. Open) two weeks from now. Believe me, I can't see anything at Torrey Pines being any more severe than this," said Flesch.

I do think that the setup at Memorial was a little over the top. I hate watching US Open golf any time of the year, including the US Open at times. But, Flesch has a point. Memorial was set up almost exactly like the Open will be, with some exceptions. It was about 200-300 yards shorter than any round at Torrey, the fairways were wider, and the bunkers will not be furrowed in San Diego. It makes Torrey look almost equal by comparison.

That makes me draw a couple of conclusions. First, it makes me hopeful that Mike Davis' prediction of a winning Open score that is actually under par this year will hold true. Kenny Perry won on -8 this week. Second, related to Kenny Perry, it makes me wonder even more why he will not pursue the Open through qualifying. If he can win at a US Open type setup at Muirfield Village, how does he know that he will fail at Torrey - even with the self-jinx?

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