Here’s my wish list for this year’s U.S. Open:
1. No playoff. I’d feel differently if the USGA allowed for the sort of resolution for a tie that EVERY OTHER tournament uses, i.e. do it right away and do it so that your final day galleries and huge TV audience can watch it. On Mondays there’s this thing called work and an 18-hole playoff doesn’t always fit in with that.
2. Decent weather. (This is actually a bargaining chip, a throw-away request. There is absolutely no chance of this.)
3. A good leaderboard on Sunday. Sorry folks, but I don’t want any journeymen, or 3-day wonders up there. Heavyweights only.
4. Excellence, not survival. Despite my frustration with the weather forecast–and as I write, we are sitting through the first of what promises to be several rain delays–I am actually happy that Merion is softer and will play easier. I’m not a fan of the brutal, one-man-left-standing U.S. Open format. It tends to produce winners who are phlegmatic and completely devoid of charisma, e.g. Lee Janzen. (Sorry, Lee, but admit it man: you’re steady, but dull.)
4 (a) As a subset of the previous request I am not a fan of the grotesque blow-up that can happen with the tight layout, thick rough and slick greens that characterize the typical US Open venue. I don’t enjoy, and in fact I find disturbing, the spectacle of seeing one of the best players in the world four putting, or scything up chunks of heavy grass. This game is difficult enough. I don’t need to see the gods struggling with it.
5. No runaway. This is not a team sport where I have absolutely no problem with the SF Giants sweeping the World Series or one of those Super Bowl blowouts during the 49er’s glory days. There is no golfer I like so much that I want to see him destroy the field. Sure, there are guys I’d like to see win, but by one stroke and on the 72nd hole.