Zach Johnson: They've Lost The Golf Course

The course has been heavily criticised

Zach Johnson: They've Lost The Golf Course
(Image credit: Andrew Redington)

The two-time major winner was heavily critical of the course

Zach Johnson: They've Lost The Golf Course

The US Open this year at Shinnecock Hills has been brutal already, and Saturday is looking even more difficult.

It is becoming reminiscent to the controversial 2004 tournament where conditions were heavily criticised and the greens had to be watered between groups on the final day.

Two-time major winner Zach Johnson, speaking to Sky Sports' Sarah Stirk, was brutally honest in his post-round interview, saying that the USGA had "lost the golf course".

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"I said it in 2004, that weekend before and that Monday through Friday was one of the best venues I've ever stepped foot on and I would say the same this week.

Johnson said he feels for the membership, some of whom he knows, and the fans for the carnage they are watching.

He also said he feels for the USGA.

"You've got to err on the side of conservative and that wasn't done today."

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Johnson shot 72 to take him to +8 for the tournament.

Tyrrell Hatton, who said he was "buzzing" with a 72, tweeted, "Going to be absolute carnage for the leaders on that back 9, some shocking pins considering the conditions."

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Butch Harmon said in the Sky Sports commentary box, "I don't agree with it, I don't agree with the USGA the way they set it up.

"This is not fair, I don't care about how hard it is just make it fair that it rewards good shots and you can play the darn thing."

Related: Is Shinnecock Hills unfair?

Sky's Rich Beem reporting from the course whilst on air said 'the greens have gone past the brown stage and are now in the blue stage'.

Dustin Johnson's ball was later oscillating on the 5th green.

At the time of writing, Dustin Johnson is +4 for the day, level for the tournament, and no players are under par.

This is just another controversy after Phil Mickelson ran and putted a moving ball on the 13th green.

He was given a two stroke penalty and later admitted to knowing the rule and breaching it to gain an advantage on the hole.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x