The regret? Not factoring the lack of visibility for spectators, check. Not better preparing the players for the afternoon condition of the greens? Check! Two biggies really in hindsight looking back at the 2015 U.S. Open. One was preventable, one perhaps inevitable. Either way, the USGA is wisely admitting having made a mistake it seems.
However, it's interesting to read in Randall Mell's story for GolfChannel.com how the USGA's Mike Davis feels that better preparing players for bumpy greens would make them less critical. Or, perhaps he realized that the broadcast position of the announce team, as I noted here, was sending out seemingly false messages that players heard and got frustrated by when facing bumpy four footers?
Also increasingly common is the view that a great winner helps change the perception of a week, no matter how many problems there were.
“We had an exciting finish, a great player win it, a great leaderboard, and that is what really does matter,” Davis said at the U.S. Women’s Open. “We were pleased about the ending.”
The ending may end up overshadowing all the spectator and player complaints.
About the spectators, Davis said the USGA would have liked to have improved the viewing experience with better ways to move people around the course.
“We knew it was going to be hard, but, honestly, we didn’t know it was going to be that hard,” Davis said. “We were so focused on spectator safety.”