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Reviewing the US Open

Perhaps because our sports editor believes our readers have had enough already of the barrage on women’s football (though I entirely sympathise that the coverage is disproportionate) I was asked to preview the US Open beginning today at Pebble Beach.

My guru Jeremy Chapman picked his winners as Patrick Cantlay, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker and Graeme McDowell.

To this I added Francesco Molinari, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.

Neither of us chose Tiger Woods, or Brooks Koepka.

Tiger ‘s victory on this course in 2000 by 15 strokes was one of the immortal rounds of golf but then is then and now is now.

McDowell won in 2010 and DJ should have done so in 2016.

More relevantly and recently he went damn close to overtaking his buddy Brooks Koepka at the PGA at Bethpage.

Molinari’s metronomic accuracy with irons favours this shortish course where there only 3 par fives. Jordan Spieth is coming back to form but needs to sharpen up his putting, once his strongest suit.

Jeremy Chapman also contributed an excellent down-memory-lane feature on Tony Jacklin’s victory in Hazeltine in 1970.

At Pebble Beach today there will be 17 British and Irish golfers competing, at Hazeltine Jacklin was on his own. Peter Alliss, Neil Coles and Brian Barnes, great golfers all, never once competed in the US Open.

Tony Jacklin went into it having won The Open at Lytham 11 months previously, the USPGA Greater Jacksonville Open in 1968 and tied his Ryder Cup duel with Jack Nicklaus with the famous concession on the final hole by the 18 times major winner.

The Hazeltine course came in for much criticism. Dave Hill was fined for saying it could be improved by 80 acres of corn and some cows.

The son of a Scunthorpe lorry driver mastered it alright with a winning margin of 7 shots. He never won much after that but he was an inspirational Ryder Cup captain. Its extraordinary he was never given a knighthood.

About John Pargiter

John Pargiter’s biggest claim to fame is his first-ever work experience job, as ‘legs’ (or runner) for Henry Longhurst. For many years he worked in insurance at Lloyds. After retiring he has returned to his favourite sport of golf and is a keen recreational sailor and grandparent. More Posts