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U.S. Open Live, January 2020: Winged Foot Countdown is On

January 28, 2020


hi everyone and welcome back into
January 2020 and US Open Live I’m Dave Giancola joined as always by Ned
Michaels Happy New Year my friend New Year to you well the calendar has
flipped it is 2020 and that means the countdown is officially on to Father’s
Day weekend at Wingfoot for the one hundred and twentieth playing of the
United States Open Championship and Ned right out of the gate the PGA Tour
season has opened up and we all know that the week-to-week PGA Tour season
has a lot of implications for the US Open because the US Open is just that it
is open and players can play themselves in week to week so Ned with that said
who is hot out of the gate on the PGA Tour who do you like well I appreciate
you throwing me a nice little soft ball right out of the gate here in 2020 it’s
Justin Thomas yeah of course he’s already won twice this season he won in
Hawaii and a limited field but a terrific field at Kapalua he’s doing
everything well except putting his putting stats
especially in that four to eight foot range where you need to be exquisite and
almost perfect to win at Wingfoot he’s almost near the bottom is 199th on the
PGA Tour but think about it if he’s already won twice and he’s not putting
well think about if he starts to make a few putts watch out for Justin Thomas
yeah two wins already on the PGA Tour season so you can sense it’s gonna be a
big 2020 for JT but Ned we know a lot of big-name players they’re already exempt
into the US Open they’re already booking their their hotels their houses up in
Mamaroneck New York there’s a lot of players that haven’t played their way in
yet and you know they want to get there who’s someone that may not be exempt yet
but you think may actually be a favorite come Father’s Day well in terms of
favorites the way that I looked at this wasn’t necessarily favorites but guys
who were exempt too when they get in win I promise you they’re going to get in
these are players to keep an eye on South African Eric van Rijn a couple of
times he’s won on the European Tour he finished in the top 20 the last two
times he’s played the Open Championship he had a top 45 finish in the US Open
last year but he is a guy who was terms of ball striking is at
ten caliber player keep an eye on Eric van Rijn there’s also a Frenchman Victor
Perez his last few events he finished second in Abu Dhabi tied for second in
Turkey for that the World Golf Championship and he won that Alfred
Dunhill Link’s Championship which is one of the biggest events on the European
Tour he is a pro digis striker of the ball high ball flight hits it a long way
these are elements of a game that you need to be able to handle at Wingfoot
but the one player the one player i want you to keep an eye on the former US
Amateur champion man who finished tied for 12th last year at the United States
Open Victor hovlind on region night this guy can do anything if he’s not hitting
it well he can chip and he can putt if he’s putting well he’s always gonna hit
the ball halfway decent if he puts it all together he literally can win a
major at any given time he hasn’t won on tour yet Keegan Bradley member 2011 he
won in his first major championship it wouldn’t be the first for Hovland but it
wouldn’t surprise me at all if he came into Wingfoot and at least poked his
nose to the contention yeah Victor Hoffman kind of turning into a household
name in professional golf wins that US Amateur two years ago at Pebble Beach
returns to Pebble Beach with that exemption being a US Amateur champion
and plays extremely extremely well taking home low ammeter honours and the
medal during that incredible awards ceremony at Pebble Beach and you know
the ball striking is there for Victor Hoffman if he can perform well with
those small greens at Pebble Beach so talking about household names I want to
dive in to some of the biggest name players in the game and what the keys
for them will be if they are to emerge victorious as the hundred and twentieth
US Open champion and I want to start with the most household name and that’s
Tiger Woods the big cat well of course he can get it done he is the reigning
Masters champion he won it didn’t look like he was playing all that well the
PGA Championship last year and then at the US Open Pebble Beach he was not in
good health you could tell but towards the end of the year he wins on the PGA
Tour he wins the Zozo championship in Japan and he looked good in healthy and
strong doing it if he stays healthy watch out for tiger yeah I think that
word strong you use when he is looking strong that’s when you think the
health will hold up and then you know anything is possible with one of the
greatest players of all time let’s move in to mr. John ROM the former Arizona
State Sun Devil you know he can strike the ball he can hit it a long way
not necessarily kind of a long hitters paradise up there at Wingfoot you got to
have precision what’s the key for the Spaniard listen John talking directly to
you don’t do anything different keep doing what you’re doing people say that
you have to be able to control your attitude control your emotions better
keep being you because he is on course to win majors in Wingfoot certainly
within his reach yeah John ROM I think everyone’s expecting him to break
through in a matter Championships know very very soon talking about major
championship winners the 2015 US Open champion at chambers Bay in the Pacific
Northwest was none other than jordan Spieth what about mr. Smith what does he
need to do well to emerge at Wingfoot I’m worried about Jordan I’m worried
about him in the sense of you always hear the old adage is it starts at the
green and goes backwards if you’re putting poorly it erodes your short game
and then your iron play starts to atrophy and before you know it you’re
putting more pressure on your driver for Jordan it’s almost the opposite in 2015
you made everything you can’t expect that but now he’s
driving the ball so poorly that is starting to ooze its way into the rest
of his game he has to be able to hit fairways you cannot win at Wingfoot
missing fairways period on the Senate you just can’t do it correct and so you
talk about him Spieth he’s got to improve there his good friend JT we
talked about that two wins already on the PGA Tour we touched on it the
puttings got to improve right Wingfoot screens notoriously difficult to read
the undulations are just incredible it’s really an architectural masterpiece up
there in Westchester County let’s touch on our defending champion Gary woodland
he put it all together over 72 holes at Pebble Beach he capped it off with a
putt that a lot of us are never going to forget and a reaction from an incredible
crowd out there in California what does our
defending champ need to improve on to maybe go back to back like his friend
Brooks koepka well the most glaring element of his game is his short game
and it’s just an overall statistics he’s way down the list in terms of outside
the top 180 and short game conversion up and down but I don’t necessarily think
that’s the most important part because that takes into account all of the short
game there two things for Gary woodland he’s got to get a little bit better on
short sighted deep bunker shots because of those bunkers at Wingfoot they’re
yawning caverns and you have to be able to get it up quickly and drop it softly
he gets steep on his bunker shots sometimes he exposes that leading edge
and he has a little bit of trouble controlling his trajectories elevation
so that would be number one and then number two he just needs to continue
down the same path of being comfortable working the ball both directions because
at Wingfoot you have to be able to draw and fade shots and woodland is primarily
a predominantly left-to-right player even though over the past year year and
a half he’s become more comfortable with the draw this is something he just needs
to be able to under pressure count on so shot making for Gary woodland you
talk about the deep bunkers and one hole that certainly comes to mind when you
think of deep green side bunker is the par-3 10th hole that every US open there
are holes where you just don’t have to stand up and hit a shot in the 10th hole
there’s a lot of them at Wingfoot don’t get me wrong but the 10th hole is
certainly one of those because there’s nowhere to miss right there’s nowhere to
miss left and even if you get it on the green there’s a still a lot of work left
to do yeah it is one of the most iconic holes at Wingfoot aw Tillinghast the
architect at Wingfoot called it perhaps the best part 3 he ever built which is
high praise coming from an architect with that type of resume let’s take a
deeper dive into the par-3 10th and join Michael breed and Winged Foot Golf
Professional Katie weed Marv the tenth fee at Winged Foot Golf Club
the host of the twenty20 US Open one of my favorite part threes and I’m joined
by Katie weed Mar and Katie PGA professional you spend a lot of time
looking out over this tee the Pro Shop is just over there which we’ll get to in
a second but this hole right here just reeks of Tillinghast one of my favorite
part threes and in fact he said of all the par threes he designed this was his
favor absolutely and even Ben Hogan has that famous quote that he uses where
it’s a three iron into someone’s back window I’m very fortunate this is my
office view window so I have no complaints speaking of that let’s move
on back to where they’ve added this additional tee and as we go by we go
past the golf shop we’re obviously claude harmon and we remember claude as
a masters champion but also in 1959 he finished third in the US Open while he
was the host golf professional a very very challenging and daunting thing to
do let’s go back onto this tee and just give the the individuals watching an
idea of what this looks like from back here because this is really challenging
195 up there can play as much as what 225 230 yeah it can play very
challenging about to 15 to 30 and and and also what seems to make this shot
challenging is it looks like you want to hit a little bit of a cut shot in here
don’t you absolutely especially today and yet as you start to do that you now
bring that bunker in on the right hand side and that bunker is extremely deep
the green is very very challenging we want to show you what that green looks
like so Katie why don’t you and I head on up to the green and y’all come on
with us so as we start to approach the front edge of the green here Katie
obviously we can feel this property moving down to the right-hand side and
there are a lot of divots down there clearly a collection area yeah a few
balls have made its way down there yeah none of yours right exactly so we get up
here to the green and what we notice obviously is a very narrow little
opening in here and then it kind of broadens in the back but what is right
in our mind is this bunker to the right-hand side
a tip golde Tillinghast bunker what I’m gonna
do is I’m gonna run down there and I’m gonna give them a little look at what it
looks like when you’re sitting in a Tillinghast bunker on the 10th green and
then we’ll get to you in your putting yeah I’m gonna stay up at the green you
go through that Ida girl all right so let me tell you a little bit about this
I think was Dave Maher who said that he spent so much time in these bunkers that
he had his mail delivered over here now I’m not sending my mail but I am I am
interested in showing you exactly what it’s like when you get down here into a
Tillinghast bunker because the first thing that you’re gonna notice is you
can always see about half the flagstick you don’t really have an accurate idea
of where that green is started and the challenges of it and this is challenging
in fact it was a little challenging you know what you don’t want to get it here
let me tell you there’s a lot of other places that you want to be in fact you
know where you want to be now you’re bonded me up on the green with Katie
not too shabby down there Michael now even though I hit the green up here that
doesn’t always mean I’m making par this green is very treacherous even though it
doesn’t show as a severe breaks as some of the other homes back in oh six
Ogilvie was fortunate enough to birdie the holes during the first and third
round we’ll see if that’s the case for these players in 2020 now that that tees
extended a little further back so as for me unfortunately hit the ball above the
hole so I’ve got a tough putt ahead of me I barely just want to breathe on this
thing let’s see how we turn out here all right now as it’s coming down it’s
gaining speed and all I want to do is just snuggle it tight near the hole I
thought it was gonna drop in my caddie was gonna you know I was gonna that’s
good pick that up that well but not a US Open you’re gonna be making that it’s a
really really fun hole obviously one of the reasons why Tillinghast called this
his favorite part three as they move that tee back this is going to be one of
those shots that if you’re starting out your round it’s going to be extremely
difficult you’ve got to commit to your shot and trust your golf swing all right thank you as always to Michael
and Katie for taking us in depth into wing foots West course we can’t wait to
get up there for the US Open Championship and if you can’t tell Ned
the one thing we would doesn’t lack is history so we want to take a trip back
in time for this segment to 1959 and believe it or not it was the first time
the US Open was played over four days it was due to weather because the players
used to play 36 holes on Saturday and then the championship was over but
weather pushed it to Sunday and that’s about the least interesting fact we’re
gonna touch on because there’s a lot of them from 1959 and it all started final
round let’s set the scene 46 year old Ben Hogan in second place three back of
Billy Casper and many of the journalists of that era and of that day would tell
you that Ben Hogan would have won his fifth his record-setting United States
Open had it not been for the rain delays the start and stoppage of play and of
course his body was still mangled from the car accident but it was because it
went another day it gave Billy Casper the chance to close down this
championship and at the time he wasn’t a fifty-one time
Tour winner he wasn’t a five-time Vardhan Award winner
he was just Billy Casper the kid from San Diego but boy did he know how to get
it done he wasn’t the longest hitter in the air and Nicholas out drove him
Palmer was longer even Trevino more prodigious off of the tee but Billy
Casper he knew how to get the ball into the hole right and I think it came down
to course management which we all know a player needs to win the US Open but I
think Billy Casper really showcases that back in 59 get this on the par-3 3rd
hole 217 yards you said he wasn’t the longest hitter he said the fairway woods
were feeling a little erratic that week so what did he do he laid up on the
par-3 3rd four straight days all four rounds got up and down each round for
par that is course management to a tee what a wonderful window into the mind of
Billy Casper who is probably one of the most underrated winners ever on the PGA
Tour the world of golf really it was top ten right now 51
wins again on the PGA Tour but the fact that he could lay up on a par 3 and have
that much confidence in his short game it just shows you the IQ this man had
and Dave what it tells me is you don’t have to overpower Wingfoot this is a
golf course that if you have the right strategy and you can stay the course and
not be affected by bogeys here and there if you think your way around this place
you can win this US Open well you certainly have to think through it and I
think the course may have been in some players heads in the final round
because how’s this for a fact the course yielded zero sub par rounds in the final
round that is ridiculous it’s ridiculous as good as the players
are to not have any rounds under par it’s it’s unthinkable it’s unimaginable
really it really is it just it’s a it’s a tip of the cap to the golf course and
how difficult it can be but I want to punch counterpunch with you here a
little bit all right of the last four winners to win the United States Open at
this venue Wingfoot only twice have they made a single double bogey or higher for
the entire championship when Casper one zero no scores of double bogey or higher
Irwin only made one fuzzy only made one in oh go V also the goose egg so it’s it
really is this balancing act that is Wingfoot is you understand under par is
fantastic but you also know in the back of your brain you have to avoid the big
numbers if you want to win at the end of the week and I think that’s a common
thread we hear from players these days right pars your friend avoid the blowup
holes the big numbers so that was it Casper the first of his three major
titles he would go on to win the 1966 US Open and the 1970 Masters so Ned thank
you for joining us today before we let you go we have some exciting news here
at the USGA we have teamed up with award-winning actor Don Cheadle to
champion public golf and environmental sustainability he’s a huge fan a huge
player of the game and he wants to make sure everyone is doing it responsibly as
part of the partnership though he’s also getting you hyped for the US Open and
has some awesome videos all the way one of which you may have
already seen if you were watching the NFC playoffs on Fox but if you haven’t
enjoy around here we like blood sweat and tears served up with a side of blood
sweat and more tears what do you think I was talking about

6 Comments

  • Reply hanajinks January 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    Why are the presenters so abnormal?

  • Reply hanajinks January 23, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Winged Foot is the toughest course they play. Hopefully they don't dumb it down. Difficult to go past Koepka. He's long enough, and winning at Shinnecock proved he's good enough.

  • Reply brian wallington January 23, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Title..countdown to US Open … but no mention of just WHEN it takes place..great information uspga boys..thankyou ..

  • Reply coffee cures79 January 23, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    As long as Spieth, Reed or Watson doesn't win I'm happy.

  • Reply smith jones January 23, 2020 at 10:28 pm

    I wonder how takes it took for Michael Breed to get out of that bunker.

  • Reply D Realist January 24, 2020 at 9:45 am

    Adam Scott!

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