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It’s never really US Open week until we’ve seen the videos of golf balls nestling down in some treacherous rough with worried golfers concerned about how they’re going to survive the toughest test in golf.
We’ve had a couple already, but the US Open social media team themselves have taken up the challenge and delivered a stark warning for competitors hoping to conquer Los Angeles Country Club this week.
‘Bermuda grass is back’ is the main theme of the week, with the USGA setting a course with Bermuda grass for the first time since Pinehurst No.2 in 2005.
And although it doesn’t look like the longest rough, one glance at how the golf balls settle into the rough in the US Open’s video will strike fear into the heart of every golfer.
Golf commentator Tony Johnstone was not a huge fan, echoing the sentiments of a few people on social media that the rough being as it is took away some skill from the content.
Johnstone told Twitter: "Really? Here’s an idea… ask the people. This utterly negates the skill of the accomplished short game artiste. Everyone is reduced to hit and hope and it’s zero fun to watch. Aren’t we trying to identify the most skilled players?"
Writer John Huggan added: "Wonderful. Difficult is great. I just love it when imagination, touch and flair are replaced by hit and hope. This is how to identify Webb Simpson (sorry Webb)."
There were plenty of other reactions, both positive and negative, to the rough at the US Open - with as many people wanting to see the best in the world fully tested as those who think it turns the event into more of a lottery.
The USGA are making it as tough a test as possible again though, so we can expect to see a lot more struggles for the best in the world this week.
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Really? Here’s an idea… ask the people. This utterly negates the skill of the accomplished short game artiste. Everyone is reduced to hit and hope and it’s zero fun to watch. Aren’t we trying to identify the most skilled players?June 11, 2023
Wonderful. Difficult is great. I just love it when imagination, touch and flair are replaced by hit and hope. This is how to identify Webb simpson (sorry Webb) 🤷♂️🙄👇 https://t.co/xdISDpW56UJune 11, 2023
The US Open isn’t about embarrassing the best players, it’s about identifying themJune 11, 2023
Yes! Even par sounds like a winner for me 😎June 11, 2023
Really…I know there is an element to being rewarded for hitting fairways and green in regulation but is this presentation of rough is it not just taking it to far… it is tough and really penal to say the least.June 11, 2023
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Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website. Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.
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