Brandt Snedeker Says the U.S. Open Shouldn’t Return to Merion, Chirps “We Had Some Problems Here”

Despite a very successful U.S. Open week, where historic and sub 7,000 yard Merion showed its gnarly teeth to the world’s top talent(as predicted by yours truly), reviews of the host course of the 113th Open haven’t been all positive.  

The public comments first came from Zach Johnson and his missed cut whiny boy pants, as he called the setup “manipulated” and that the USGA has an “agenda” in setting up its courses for U.S. Opens.  Yeah, sure Zach.   Then, leader Phil Mickelson complained during the final round to a USGA official about the 3rd hole, saying, “that’s terrible, 274 (yards), we can’t even reach it.”  Phil was obviously upset after just making double bogey on the hole to fall out of the lead, but perhaps staying focused on this game would’ve been better for his mindset from there on.  And now comes Brandt Snedeker.

In a recent interview, Sneds was quoted as saying, “As great as this week was, I think the U.S. Open has kind of moved past one of these venues.” Sneds went on to say, “It’s been great to be part of it. I love the history here, but there’s so much more that goes in a U.S. Open than just golf. I don’t think it is unless something happens drastically in the next ten years where they’re able to move some stuff around or redo the routing around here. We had some problems here.”  Sneds finished the week at +10, good enough for t-17th.

Sneds also went on to say, “Just from an infrastructure standpoint, from a fan standpoint, from a global marketing standpoint, I feel like this tournament needs more space to put on a championship in the right way.”

Now, he didn’t directly criticize the course setup, but the words “…to put on a championship in the right way” sure are curious.  What exactly does that mean?  Sure there were some logistical challenges, but is he saying it wasn’t a well conducted championship?  It wasn’t how the U.S. Open was supposed to be conducted?  Why exactly would Brandt care if it was a smaller venue from a spectator standpoint?  Why would any player care if there were fewer corporate tents?  Seems to me like he chose his words in a way that wasn’t directly criticizing the course, but gave enough public feedback to try and not get the tourney back to Merion for whatever self-motivated reason.

Not quite sure what to make of Sneds’ comments overall.  No matter where the USGA takes the Open and no matter how it’s setup, there will always be critics.  In the case of Merion, the praise highly outweighed the criticism.

Joel Harrington


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