US OPEN GOLF 2013 – MERION PA……. starting 13th June
The US Open Golf Tournament 2013 is now just a week away and this time around, the National Open is being contested at the venerable East Course at the Merion Golf Club located in the Philadelphia suburb of Ardmore for the fifth time in its history.
The US Open visited Merion for the first time in 1934. Olin Dutra of Fresno beat Gene Sarazen by one stroke. In 1950, and once again the course was on centre stage for another historically significant moment. Ben Hogan won the 18-hole playoff the following day to win the second of his four National Open titles. Hogan’s 1-iron shot into the 18th has been one of the game’s more iconic photos, taken by Life Magazine photographer Hy Preskin.
In 1971, Lee Trevino beat Jack Nicklaus in an 18-hole playoff to win at Merion. Trevino and Nicklaus finished regulation play at even-par 280 and in 1981; Australian David Graham won his second major title, carding a 7-under-par 273 to beat George Burns and Bill Rogers by three strokes.
The 1981 US Open marked the beginning of the end for Merion Golf Club as a major championship venue. Merion’s 126 acres made it next to impossible to lengthen the course. There was limited room for spectators & hospitality. It looked like Merion would fall as U.S. Open site that had seen the game outgrow its course length. Merion members bought property adjacent to the golf course so that they could expand the East Course’s yardage by some 500 yards to close to 7,000 total yards. Merion then hosted the 2009 Walker Cup Matches giving the USGA confidence in its ability to once again host the United States Open….Jack Nicklaus has been quoted as saying that “Acre for acre, Merion may be the best test of golf in the world and that use of the driver will be key.
When asked about keeping the driver in the bag with a couple of exceptions, Nicklaus has very clear feelings on how to play a course that has gained more than 300 yards since 1981. “If they’re only using it two or three times, you’re not going to win a golf tournament,” Nicklaus said of limiting the use of the driver. “That’s my opinion at Merion. You’ve got 2, 4, 5, 6, 14, maybe 15, but 16 and 18 you’re going to use your driver. That’s a number of times.”
All told, that is eight times that players could use a driver at Merion, many more than some recent US Open venues and more than anyone would have imagined. Adam Scott played at Merion last week and after two rounds said “I think I’m going to hit six or seven drivers there, the fairways are not that narrow. They’re fairly generous. “
Nicklaus and Scott agree that the wedge will be very important at Merion, but to get to that point one needs to be in the fairway and long off the tee. Scott believes it will be the key. “You’re going to have to hit drivers to win, because if you’re not, someone else will be and they’re going to have a lot of wedges into greens. That’s how you’re going to create your opportunity to score.”
Within the next 15 days, we’ll know for sure?
Claim your free bet below….Tiger at 5/1….McIlroy…10/1…Luke Donald…16/1 …Justin Rose 22/1 and US Memorial winner Matt Kutchar….50/1!!!!!
We are having a nibble at Justin Rose at 22/1….we are overdue English success in the US open and Rose maybe the man for the occasion?