By Robert Bicknell

25081.gif (15822 bytes)

May 21, 2006

Wie eyes Men's US Open…good, let her suffer too.

Michelle Wie is on track to make inroads on the men’s turf once again as she got through the local qualifier for the 2006 men’s US Open by shooting square par at Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii.

Next in her sights is the Sectional Qualifying next month in New Jersey. Should she make it all the way through, Wie would be going against the best male amateur and professional players in the world on what is arguably one of the toughest challenges in the game…Winged Foot.

This is a course that, under normal conditions, can bring you whimpering to your knees and send you home a complete psychological wreck. So, playing Winged Foot in a US Open after the terrorists at the USGA are done tweaking it should send players screaming into the night.

Don’t forget what I mentioned a few weeks ago…the maniacs, er, tournament committee thought it would be fun to experiment with different heights of rough for each hole based on yardage and degree of difficulty. The USGA is reaching new sadistic heights this year as the target areas on holes five, six and 11 may have rough as high as six-inches and the sixth hole may have primary rough in the drive zone as high as eight-inches.

That’s more than penal, it’s borderline criminal and inspires me to open a "Pampers" distributorship in the locker room. Those guys are gonna need ‘em.

According to the USGA, 8,584 players will attempt to qualify for this year’s US Open tournament. However, if they really understood what they were getting themselves into, they might want to reconsider and take up a safer safe hobby, such as Explosive Ordinance Disposal.

The following contains selected paragraphs from the US Open Philosophy taken directly from the USGA website. However, to help readers of this column understand things more fully, I have included my interpretation of what they REALLY mean in italics after each sentence.

"The USGA selects venues for the US Open that rank among the most challenging courses in the United States" (courses guaranteed to kill people without any help from us).

"We intend that the US Open prove the most rigorous examination of golfers" (like a prostate exam with sandpaper gloves).

"A US Open course should test all forms of shot making, mental tenacity, and physical endurance under conditions of extreme pressure found only at the highest levels of championship golf" (we want to see you cry and soil yourself).

"At the same time, we try to ensure that a well-played stroke produces a positive result for an Open competitor" (the occasional lucky shot and we dare you to try it again).

"We formulate a detailed, careful plan for conducting the US Open over four-to-five days, but unanticipated variations in weather and other conditions may force consideration of daily adjustments to maintain appropriate playing conditions" (we’ll crank up the pain level if necessary).

"…14 factors impact overall US Open course set up. The mix of these factors varies from course to course, year to year" (depending on the level of medication our therapists are doling out).

"Evaluation of course set up should not focus on any single element but consider the composite result" (which, of course is the utter destruction of a player’s self-esteem).

"There is no USGA target score for a US Open. While the final score at some US Open sites will be at or near par, the USGA does not try to formulate a course set up that will only produce a winning score of at or near even par" (the last time a player broke par for the event, the tournament committee joined Jimmy Hoffa).

"The Association typically begins preparing for a US Open five to seven years in advance of the actual championship. This preparation process continues regularly throughout that extended period (it takes time to define and refine good quality torture).

Our goal is to provide everyone attending a US Open with the finest experience possible, whether they are located inside or outside the ropes (we want the gallery to enjoy the joyous spectacle of seeing grown men act like children and cry "mommy").

I hope Michelle Wie makes the cut, why should men be the only ones crying?

Back to Issues