USGA chief says Merion was 'outstanding test'


Having just concluded a U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club that received largely positive reviews, USGA executive director Mike Davis hinted that the season's second major may soon return to the historic venue.

'This is a club that has hosted 18 national championships, more than any other golf course in the United States,' Davis explained during an interview on 'Morning Drive.' 'So I can't imagine that there won't be a day in the future or time in the future we wouldn't want to come back with a national open championship.'

Entering the week, questions persisted about Merion's ability to stand up to the world's best golfers while measuring less than 7,000 yards, queries that only grew louder after a deluge of rain earlier in the week softened the course significantly. Largely thanks to several trademark features of the U.S. Open – narrow fairways, thick rough and devilish pin placements – par once again became the desired score, with Justin Rose winning the event despite a total score of 1-over 281.

Additionally, the logistical problems posed by a championship at Merion were not insignificant. Homes along the course were used to house operations, players had to be shuttled over a mile from the driving range to the first tee and cozy confines reduced daily ticket allotments to just 25,000. In looking back, though, Davis had nothing but glowing remarks for one of the game's most famed venues.

'This golf course and this community, the operations, it stood the test of time,' he noted. 'It's done it time and time again.'

While it seemed early in the week that course setup would be largely dictated by the rain that fell at Merion, Davis explained that it was another force of nature that caused his staff to adjust the most.

'I think what surprised me most was the wind. That was where we had to be the most flexible,' said Davis. 'We essentially had four windy days.'

With the USGA's biggest event now in the rear view mirror, Davis reflected proudly upon a week that he described as 'a huge success.'

'All in all, I thought the test of golf was outstanding,' he added. 'I think it tested every part of the game.'