Golf Talk Live - Jesper Parnevik Transcript Segment 1

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 28, 2000, 5:00 pm
TEASE
 
JESPER PARNEVIK MAY NOT HAVE LEARNED MUCH ABOUT MAKING GREAT GOLF SWINGS FROM SWEDEN'S MOST CELEBRATED COMIC, WHO HAPPENS TO BE HIS FATHER, BO,

BUT HE DID ABSORB LESSONS ABOUT SHOWMANSHIP AND THEATRICS. MEET WORLD CLASS GOLFER AND WORLD CLASS ENTERTAINER, JESPER PARNEVIK, NOW ON GOLF TALK LIVE.

(GTL MUSIC/INTRO BEGINS)

WE USED TO FIND JESPER PARNEVIK AMUSING.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
(VIDEO CLIP)
IT'S NOT THAT I AM A COMPLETE LUNATIC.

PETER KESSLER
 
NOW WE FIND HIM COMPELLING. WE USED TO APPRECIATE HIS STYLE. NOW WE APPRECIATE HIS SUBSTANCE.

WE USED TO EXPECT HIM TO BE A SUPPORTING PLAYER ON BIG OCCASIONS. NOW WE EXPECT HIM IN THE CENTER OF EVERY BIG BATTLE.

TOM WATSON DIDN'T WIN RIGHT AWAY. AND IT TOOK HOGAN ALMOST A DECADE TO NOTCH HIS FIRST TOUR VICTORY.

PARNEVIK HAD TO SLOWLY WORK HIS WAY INTO A ZONE OF COMFORT. AND HE LEARNED TO MAKE QUALITY DECISIONS UNDER PRESSURE ...

WINNING AT PHOENIX IN '98, WINNING AT GREENSBORO IN '99, WINNING THE HOPE IN 2000.

HE WAS THE PERFECT FOIL (AS IN FENCING) AND PARTNER FOR SERGIO GARCIA IN '99 RYDER CUP PLAY. AND HE DOESN'T SEEM TO GET IN HIS OWN WAY ANYMORE.

AND HE KNOWS IF YOU'RE GONNA DRESS LIKE THIS, YOU'D BETTER PLAY ...

LIKE THAT.

WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE WORLD, JESPER PARNEVIK.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
THANK YOU.

PETER KESSLER
 
GREAT TO SEE YOU MY FRIEND.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

PETER KESSLER
 
YOUR DAD'S THE MOST FAMOUS COMIC IN SWEDEN. AND IN THE 20TH CENTURY, BOB HOPE, ARGUABLY, HAS BEEN THE MOST FAMOUS AND ENDURING COMEDIAN.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
UH-HUH.

PETER KESSLER
 
WHAT DID YOUR DAD THINK WHEN YOU WON MR. HOPE'S GOLF TOURNAMENT?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
OH, I MEAN, OF COURSE, HE WAS VERY PROUD. I MEAN UM, I REMEMBER EVER SINCE I CAME OVER HERE IN '85 TO UM, JOIN PALM BEACH UNITY COLLEGE FOR A - FOR A SEMESTER,

MOSTLY TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE BUT, OF COURSE, JUST TO PLAY GOLF, AND HE HAD ME TAPE EVERY NIGHT, YOU KNOW, ALL THE GOOD COMEDIANS FROM THE UNITED STATIONS BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SEE WHAT THEY WERE DOING OVER HERE AND SO ON.

AND HE'S ALWAYS LOVED THE OLD GUYS, YOU KNOW, LIKE ... LIKE BOB HOPE, THE SMOTHER BROTHERS WERE ANOTHER PARODY THAT HE REALLY LOVED, AND YOU KNOW, BILL COSBY, GUYS LIKE THAT, ...

THE OLD SCHOOL WHERE JOKES WERE A LITTLE BIT CLEANER, LITTLE BIT UM, LITTLE BIT MORE THOUGHT BEHIND IT. AND UM, SO THAT'S WHAT I DID ALL NIGHT, YOU KNOW, TAPED ALL THOSE TAPES.

PETER KESSLER
 
SOME DADS FIND IT HARD TO SAY, 'I'M PROUD OF YOU, SON.' IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR DAD DOESN'T HAVE TROUBLE DOING THAT WITH YOU. IS THAT TRUE?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
UH NO, BECAUSE HE ... YOU KNOW, HE'D GROWN UP - I'D GROWN UP IN THE LIMELIGHT, AND HE'S BEEN IN LIMELIGHT THE WHOLE OF HIS LIFE. SO HE KNOWS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.

AND UM, YOU KNOW, I LEARNED A LOT FROM THAT AND UH, WE HAD A GREAT RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER. I MEAN, HE'S ALWAYS TRIED ALL THESE JOKES OUT ON US, IN THE FAMILY, EVEN THOUGH WE ARE A VERY TOUGH CROWD.

BUT UH, YEAH, WE HAVE A GREAT UH RELATIONSHIP, ALL - EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY. AND HE'S PROBABLY GONNA BE OVER HERE SHORTLY, MAYBE FOR - EVEN FOR AUGUSTA.

PETER KESSLER
 
DOES HE STILL TEASE YOU THAT HE'S MORE FAMOUS IN SWEDEN THAN YOU ARE?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
OH YEAH, I MEAN, HE STILL LOVES THAT, OF COURSE. BUT UH, I'M GETTING CLOSER. I'M GETTING CLOSER. I MEAN UH, I THINK IT WAS AFTER THE TURNBERRY BRITISH OPEN THAT HE ACTUALLY, FIRST TIME, HE SAT DOWN ON THE FLIGHT NEXT TO THIS OLD LADY.

AND UH, YOU KNOW, I JUST LOST TO UH NICK PRICE. YOU KNOW, HE BEAT ME BY ONE. AND UM, SO HE SITS DOWN AND I THINK SHE SEES HIS UH BOARDING PASS. IT SAYS 'PARNEVIK' ON IT.

AND SO SHE GOES, 'OH, DO YOU KNOW JESPER PARNEVIK?' AND HE GOES - HE WAS BAFFLED BY THAT. AND THAT - THAT'S - PRETTY MUCH FROM THAT DAY HE KNEW, 'OH MAYBE, YOU KNOW, I'VE GOT TO DO SOME MORE SHOWS TO CATCH UP.'

BUT UM, I'M GETTING THERE.

PETER KESSLER
 
OUR AUDIENCE MAY BE BAFFLED BY WHO YOUR DAD IS BECAUSE WE DON'T SEE HIM HERE. SO WE PUT TOGETHER A COUPLE LITTLE CLIPS THAT WE'RE GONNA SHOW

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
OH YEAH?

PETER KESSLER
 
EVERYBODY RIGHT NOW SO THAT YOU HAVE A SENSE OF THE KIND OF WORK THAT BO PARNEVIK DOES. LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

(CLIPS BEGIN)
UNKNOWN INTERVIEWER (MALE):
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FOREIGN POLICY? UM, HAVE YOU TALKED TO MR. BRESHNEV ABOUT PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

BO PARNEVIK, JESPER'S FATHER (MALE):
YES UH, WE'VE HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST. UH, BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT PRESIDENT BRESHNEV WANTS TOO BIG A PIECE OF THE MIDDLE EAST.

WHEN I ASKED HIM TO GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN, HE SAID THAT UH, HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW UH, HOW TO GET OUT OF RUSSIA.

(NEW CLIP STARTS)
BRING ME THE HELSINKI AGREEMENT PLEASE.

AH ...

I'M SURE THEY'RE GONNA END (???). THAT PART HAS ALREADY BEEN USED.
(CLIPS END)

PETER KESSLER
 
HAVE YOU EXPLAINED TO YOUR DAD THAT, EXCEPT FOR IN SWEDEN, YOU ARE MORE FAMOUS IN EVERY OTHER COUNTRY?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
UH, HE KNOWS THAT BY NOW, I THINK. BUT STILL IN SWEDEN I'M HAVING A TOUGH TIME BECAUSE UH, YOU KNOW, HIS AUDIENCE HAS BEEN SO BIG FOR SO LONG THAT UH, ANYONE PROBABLY FROM -

EVEN NOW THOSE THAT HAVE NEVER SERIOUSLY SEEN HIM PERFORM WHEN HE WAS AT HIS HIGHEST PEAK UH, YOU KNOW, KNOW HIM AND SO ON. AND ...

THEN YOU HAVE THE WHOLE OLDER CROWD THAT, YOU KNOW, HAVE SEEN PERFORM SINCE HE WAS, YOU KNOW, 25. BUT UH, THIS SHOW YOU SAW HERE WAS UH, I THINK, THE ONLY SHOW HE'S EVER DONE IN ENGLISH.

AND UH, IT WAS FOR THE MONTEREY FESTIVAL.

PETER KESSLER
 
SPEAKING OF PEAKS, YOU ARE PLAYING THE BEST GOLF OF YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW. WHAT ARE YOU DOING BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
OH, THAT'S THE TOUGH THING ABOUT GOLF. YOU KNOW UH, YOU NEVER KNOW. AND YOU NEVER YOU WHEN YOU'RE GONNA RUN OUT OR WHEN YOU'RE, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GONNA PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF.

SO UM, WHAT I DID LAST YEAR I THINK WAS A VERY SMART MOVE, WAS THAT I TOOK THE 10 LAST WEEKS OFF OF THE YEAR TO UM, RELAX, YOU KNOW, GOT IN GOOD SHAPE, WORKED OUT A LOT WITH MY SISTER JESSICA DOWN AT UM, A CLINIC THEY HAVE IN PALM BEACH CALLED NOVA HEALTH.

AND THAT HELPED ME A LOT JUST TO FEEL STRONGER AGAIN BECAUSE IT'S ... IT'S A TOUGH TIME TRAVELING, PLAYING THE WAY WE DO. AND UH, SOMETIMES YOU'VE JUST HAD ENOUGH.

AND THAT'S WHAT I DECIDED, I - I DID LAST YEAR. AND SO WHEN I CAME OUT THIS YEAR TO HAWAII, I REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

BUT I WAS KEEN TO PLAY THOUGH. I MEAN, I WAS REALLY MOTIVATED. I HAD A LOT OF FUN ON THE GOLF COURSE. SEEMS LIKE WHEN I HAVE THE MOST FUN ON THE COURSE, THAT'S WHEN I PLAY MY BEST GOLF.

PETER KESSLER
 
THERE'S A COUPLE OF STATISTICS THAT ARE RIVETING SO FAR THIS YEAR. YOU'RE NUMBER ONE STATISTICALLY ALL-AROUND. BUT YOU'RE ALSO NUMBER ONE IN BOUNCE-BACKS, MAKING A BIRDIE AFTER A BOGEY.

AND YOU'RE ALSO NUMBER ONE IN RELATION TO PAR ON PAR-3'S WHICH SUGGESTS TO ME YOU'RE HITTING YOUR IRONS REALLY CLOSE TO THE HOLE. IS THAT TRUE?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
REALLY WELL. I MEAN UH, IT WAS NOT THAT I WORKED ON MY IRONS ALL WINTER AND I KNEW WHEN I CAME TO HAWAII THIS ... THIS IS GONNA WORK. IT WAS A THING WHERE I ... I THINK IT WAS WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST TOURNAMENT,

TOURNAMENT OF THE CHAMPIONS IN MAUI, AND UH, I JUST FOUND SOMETHING ON THE RANGE BEFORE THE PRO-AM AND I STARTED JUST FLAGGING MY IRONS. AND IT JUST FELT SO GOOD AND JUST KEPT GOING.

AND UH, SO I'M PROBABLY HITTING MY IRONS THE BEST I HAVE IN MY CAREER RIGHT NOW. AND THAT LEADS TO A LOT OF SHORT BIRDIE PUTTS. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, IN ... AS YOU KNOW, IN A FEW OF THE TOURNAMENTS,

I HIT MY DRIVER A LITTLE BIT WIDE WHICH CAUSED A LOT OF DOUBLES AND TRIPLES TO HAPPEN. SO THAT'S PROBABLY WHY YOU SAY THE BOUNCE-BACKS 'CAUSE I MADE A LOT OF DOUBLE BOGEYS AS WELL.

PETER KESSLER
 
DID YOU WRITE THAT SWING THOUGHT DOWN FOR WHEN YOU FORGET IT?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
I STILL HAVE IT, YEAH. I STILL HAVE IT. BUT UH, THAT'S THE ... THIS IS PROBABLY THE LONGEST STRETCH THOUGH YOU HAVE A FEEL OR A SWING THOUGHT THAT WILL LAST. USUALLY IT'S GONE THE NEXT DAY. SO I'M VERY PLEASED IT'S STILL THERE.

PETER KESSLER
 
LAST YEAR, YOU WERE VERY NICE TO ME WHEN WE DID A SHOW THE DAY TOGETHER THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY. AND YOU MADE A PARTICULARLY NICE GESTURE IN MY DIRECTION.

JESPER PARNEVIK

THAT'S RIGHT, YEAH.

PETER KESSLER
 
LET'S SHARE THAT WITH EVERYBODY, JUST REFRESH EVERYBODY'S MEMORY OF HOW NICE THAT WAS. LET'S SEE THAT.

(CLIP BEGINS)
JESPER PARNEVIK
 
WELL, I HEARD IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY TOMORROW. SO UM,

PETER KESSLER
 
THAT'S ALSO TRUE.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
WHAT I'M GONNA DO ... I'M GONNA SING YOU A LITTLE SWEDISH BIRTHDAY SONG.

PETER KESSLER
 
I WOULD LIKE THAT.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
UH, (SINGING IN SWEDISH - AIR AS IS)

CHEERS?

PETER KESSLER
 
CHEERS.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE BEEN DRINKING ...

PETER KESSLER
 
IT'S FUNNY, I HAVEN'T HEARD THAT SONG FOR A COUPLE DAYS.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
MMM.
(CLIP ENDS)

THAT OTHER TUNE (???)...

PETER KESSLER
 
IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY COMING UP. YOU'RE GONNA BE 35 IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. IF YOU HADN'T SUNG LAST YEAR, I WOULDN'T THIS YEAR.

(SINGING)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JESPER. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

MAKE A WISH, BLOW OUT THE CANDLE.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THIS LOOKS HEALTHY.

PETER KESSLER
 
IT IS. IT DOESN'T GO WITH THE LIFIZZ ACTUALLY.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
OH, THAT'S TRUE. BUT IT GOES WITH MY PANTS THOUGH PRETTY ... YEAH.

PETER KESSLER
 
IT DOES PERFECTLY, THE CANDLE DOES.

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

PETER KESSLER
 
TURNING 35 - IT'S MY PLEASURE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I REMEMBER I HAD A FRIEND WHO, WHEN HE TURNED 35, HE CRIED ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT AT HIS PARTY BECAUSE HE FIGURED IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE END. IT WAS A CHARMING CELEBRATION.

WHAT ARE YOUR HAPPY THOUGHTS ABOUT TURNING 35?

JESPER PARNEVIK
 
UH, ACTUALLY I DON'T THINK ABOUT AGE THAT MUCH BECAUSE UH, I'M SURPRISED EVERY YEAR ACTUALLY WHAT MY BIRTHDAY - HOW - WHAT MY - HOW OLD I AM BECAUSE UH I STILL FEEL LIKE I'M 15 OR 20.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS. SO SOME YEARS AGO ACTUALLY, I STEPPED INTO THE PRESS ROOM AND SOMEBODY ASKED ME HOW OLD I AM. AND I GO, '31' AND I SERIOUSLY MEANT 31. I GO, 'NO DAMN, I'M - I'M 34'.

AND UH, THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS. I DON'T REALLY THINK ABOUT AGE THAT MUCH 'CAUSE I FEEL STILL, LIKE I SAID, LIKE I'M 20 YEARS OLD.

PETER KESSLER
 
WE'RE GONNA TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. AND WE'RE GONNA BE RIGHT BACK WITH THE BIRTHDAY BOY AFTER THIS.

(BREAK)

NEXT SEGMENT
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Norman to pose in ESPN's 'Body Issue'

By Grill Room TeamJune 19, 2018, 2:05 pm

Professional golfers have, from time to time, appeared in ESPN's "Body Issue," which features athletes strategically posed in the nude. The list includes: Belen Mozo, Carly Booth, Gary Player, Camilo Villegas, Sandra Gal, Christina Kim, Anna Grzebien, Suzann Pettersen and Sadena Parks.

And now, Greg Norman.

Modesty has never been an issue for Norman, who has an affinity for posing without a shirt (and sometimes without pants) on his Instagram account.

He joins a list of athletes, in this year's edition, ranging from professional wrestlers (Charlotte Flair) to Olympians (Adam Rippon) to WNBA stars (Sue Bird). Click here for a full list of the athletes to appear.

 

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DJ listed as betting favorite for The Open

By Will GrayJune 19, 2018, 2:00 pm

With the U.S. Open officially in the books, oddsmakers quickly turned their attention to the season's third major.

Minutes after Brooks Koepka holed the winning putt to successfully defend his title at Shinnecock Hills, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook published its first set of odds for The Open. Jordan Spieth, who opened at 14/1, will defend his title as the tournament shifts to Carnoustie in Scotland for the first time since 2007, when Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

Joining Spieth at 14/1 is 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy, but they're both listed behind world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. Johnson, who was a runner-up at the 2011 Open at Royal St. George's and just finished third at the U.S. Open, opened as a 12/1 betting favorite. Koepka, now a two-time major winner, is listed at 20/1 alongside U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood.

Here's a look at the first edition of odds, with The Open just five weeks away:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

14/1: Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy

16/1: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas

20/1: Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama

40/1: Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Marc Leishman

50/1: Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton

60/1: Matt Kuchar, Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter, Francesco Molinari, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Matthew Fitzpatrick

80/1: Tony Finau, Zach Johnson, Thomas Pieters, Daniel Berger, Xander Schauffele, Bubba Watson, Shane Lowry

100/1: Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker

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Golf Channel, Loch Lomond Partner on Claret Jug Tour Ahead of 147TH Open

By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 18, 2018, 9:35 pm

Award-Winning Independent Scotcb Whisky Sponsoring Tour to Select U.S. Cities; Will Include Special Tastings and Opportunities for Fans to Engage with Golf’s Most Storied Trophy

Golf Channel and Loch Lomond Group are partnering on a promotional tour with the Claret Jug – golf’s most iconic trophy, first awarded in 1873 to the winner of The Open – to select U.S. cities in advance of the 147TH Open at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Loch Lomond Whisky’s sponsorship of the tour further enhances the brand’s existing five-year partnership with the R&A as the official spirit of The Open, initially announced in February.

“We are proud to partner with Golf Channel to support this tour of golf’s most iconic trophy,” said Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group. “Whisky and golf are two of Scotland’s greatest gifts to the world, and following the news of our recent partnership with the R&A for The Open, being a part of the Claret Jug tour was a perfect fit for Loch Lomond Group to further showcase our commitment to the game.”

“The Loch Lomond Group could not be a more natural fit to sponsor the Claret Jug tour,” said Tom Knapp, senior vice president of golf sponsorship, NBC Sports Group. “Much like the storied history that accompanies the Claret Jug, Loch Lomond’s Scottish roots trace back centuries ago, and their aspirations to align with golf’s most celebrated traditions will resonate with a broad range of consumers in addition to golf fans and whisky enthusiasts.”

The tour kicks off today in Austin, Texas, and will culminate on Wednesday, July 11 at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe one week prior to The Open. Those wishing to engage with the Claret Jug will have an opportunity at one of several tour stops being staged at Topgolf locations in select cities. The tour will feature a custom, authentic Scottish pub where consumers (of age) can sample Loch Lomond’s portfolio of whiskies in the spirit of golf’s original championship and the Claret Jug. The Claret Jug also will make special pop-up visits to select GolfNow course partners located within some of the designated tour markets.

(All Times Local)

Monday, June 18                    Austin, Texas              (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, June 19                    Houston                      (Topgolf, 5-8 p.m.)

Wednesday, June 20               Jacksonville, Fla.        (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Monday, June 25                    Orlando, Fla.               (Topgolf, 6-9 p.m.)

Wednesday, July 4                 Washington D.C.        (Topgolf, 5:30-8:30 p.m. – Ashburn, Va.)

Monday, July 9                       Edison, N.J.                (Topgolf, Time TBA)

Wednesday, July 11               Lake Tahoe, Nev.       American Century Championship (On Course)

Fans interacting with the Claret Jug and Loch Lomond during the course of the tour are encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag, #ClaretJug on social media, and tag @TheOpen and @LochLomondMalts on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC Sports Group is the exclusive U.S. television home of the 147TH Open from Carnoustie, with nearly 50 live hours of tournament coverage, Thursday-Sunday, July 19-22. The Claret Jug is presented each July to the winner of The Open, with the winner also being given the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year” until the following year’s event is staged. The Claret Jug is one of the most storied trophies in all of sports; first presented to the 1873 winner of The Open, Tom Kidd. Each year, the winner’s name is engraved on to the trophy, forever etched into the history of golf’s original championship. It is customary for the Champion Golfer of the Year to drink a favorite alcoholic beverage from the Claret Jug in celebration of the victory.

Getty Images

USGA-player relationship at a breaking point?

By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 8:00 pm

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – For seven days each year, the American game’s preeminent governing body welcomes the best players in the world with open arms. They set up shop at one of the premier courses in the country, and line it with grandstands and white hospitality tents as far as the eye can see.

The players arrive, first at a slow trickle and then at a steady pace. And once they’ve registered and clipped their player medallions over their belts, they’re told how this year is going to be different.

How this time around, be it in a Washington gravel pit or on a time-tested piece of land on the tip of Long Island, the USGA will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That the process of identifying the best players in the world will not veer into the territory of embarrassing them.

Like a college sweetheart in search of reconciliation, the powers-that-be preach a changed attitude and a more even-handed approach. Then, inevitably, they commit the same cardinal sins they promised to avoid.

So year in and year out, the scar tissue builds. Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick the football and, for most of the players not named Brooks Koepka, he ends up on his butt in a cloud of dust and fescue.



After letting Shinnecock Hills plunge into avoidable yet all-too-familiar territory over the weekend – before being doused back to life – one thing is clear: in the eyes of many players, the USGA can’t be trusted.

“When are they going to get it right? I just feel like they disrespect these historic golf courses,” said Scott Piercy, a runner-up at the 2016 U.S. Open who got swept away this week during a crispy third round en route to a T-45 finish. “I think they disrespect the players, I think they disrespect the game of golf. And they’re supposed to be, like, the top body in the game of golf. And they disrespect it, every aspect of it.”

Piercy, like several players in this week’s field, had a few specific gripes about how Shinnecock was set up, especially during the third round when USGA CEO Mike Davis admitted his organization lost control in a display that echoed the mistakes of 2004. But this was not an isolated case.

Players went with skepticism to Chambers Bay three years ago, only to encounter greens that were largely dirt and got compared to produce. Mismatched grass strains, they were told. Whoops.

The next year the USGA threw a dark cloud over a classic venue by allowing much of the final round at Oakmont to play without knowing the leader’s actual score as a rules fiasco reached a furious boil. Last year’s Erin Hills experiment was met with malaise.

At this point, the schism runs much deeper than a single error in setup. It threatens the core competency of the organization in the eyes of several of the players it looks to serve.

“They do what they want, and they don’t do it very well. As far as I’m concerned, there is no relationship (between players and the USGA),” said Marc Leishman. “They try and do it. They do it on purpose. They say they want to test us mentally, and they do that by doing dumb stuff.”



By and large, players who took issue with the USGA’s tactics had a simple solution: put more of the setup choices in the hands of those who oversee PGA Tour and European Tour venues on a regular basis. While some of those personnel already moonlight in USGA sweater-vests for the week, there is a strong sentiment that their collective knowledge could be more heavily relied upon.

“I know (the USGA) takes great pride in doing all this stuff they do to these golf courses, but they see it once a year,” Brandt Snedeker said. “Let those guys say, ‘Hey, we see this every week. We know what the edge is. We know where it is.’ We can’t be out there playing silly golf.”

That’s not to say that a major should masquerade as the Travelers Championship. But the U.S. Open is the only one of the four that struggles to keep setup shortfalls from becoming a dominant storyline.

It all adds up to a largely adversarial relationship, one that continues to fray after this weekend’s dramatics and which isn’t helped by the USGA’s insistence that they should rarely shoulder the blame.

“They’re not going to listen, for one. Mike Davis thinks he’s got all the answers, that’s No. 2,” said Pat Perez after a T-36 finish. “And when he is wrong, there’s no apologies. It’s just, ‘Yeah, you know, we kind of let it get out of hand.’ Well, no kidding. Look at the scores. That’s the problem. It’s so preventable. You don’t have to let it get to that point.”



But this wound festers from more than just slick greens and thick rough. There is a perception among some players that the USGA gets overly zealous in crafting complicated rules with complex decisions, a collection of amateur golfers doling out the fine print that lords over the professional game on a weekly basis – with the curious handling of whatever Phil Mickelson did on the 13th green Saturday serving as just the latest example.

The gripes over setup each year at the USGA’s biggest event, when it’s perceived that same group swoops in to take the reins for a single week before heading for the hills, simply serve as icing on the cake. And there was plenty of icing this week after players were implored to trust that the miscues of 2004 would not be repeated.

“To say that the players and the USGA have had a close relationship would be a false statement,” Snedeker said. “They keep saying all the right things, and they’re trying to do all the right things, I think. But it’s just not coming through when it matters.”

It’s worth noting that the USGA has made efforts recently to ramp up its communication with the top pros. Officials from the organization have regularly attended the Tour’s player meetings in recent months, and Snedeker believes that some strides have been made.

So, too, does Zach Johnson, who was one of the first to come out after the third round and declare that the USGA had once again lost the golf course.

“I think they’ve really started to over the last few years, last couple years in particular, tried to increase veins of communication,” Johnson said. “When you’re talking about a week that is held in the highest regards, I’m assuming within the organization and certainly within my peer group as one of the four majors and my nation’s major, communication is paramount.”



But the exact size of the credibility gap the USGA has to bridge with some top pros remains unclear. It’s likely not a sting that one good week of tournament setup can assuage, even going to one of the more straightforward options in the rotation next year at Pebble Beach.

After all, Snedeker was quick to recall that players struggled mightily to hit the par-3 17th green back in 2010, with eventual champ Graeme McDowell calling the hole “borderline unfair” ahead of the third round.

“It’s one of the greatest holes in world golf, but I don’t really know how I can hit the back left portion of the green,” McDowell said at the time. “It’s nearly impossible.”

Surely this time next year, Davis will explain how the USGA has expanded its arsenal in the last decade, and that subsequent changes to the 17th green structure will make it more playable. His organization will then push the course to the brink, like a climber who insists on scaling Mount Everest without oxygen, and they’ll tell 156 players that this time, finally, the desired balance between difficult and fair has been achieved.

Whether they’ll be believed remains to be seen.