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USGA Anticipating Another Historic U.S. Open Moment

Pebble Beach is on the clock! After the Masters and the PGA Championship delivered a pair of historic moments to launch golf’s Major championship season in 2019, the USGA is confident that Pebble Beach will once again produce a worthy winner at June’s U.S. Open.

“Simply put, we absolutely love having championships here at Pebble Beach,” said Mike Davis, the USGA’s CEO, during Wednesday’s U.S. Open Preview Day. “This truly is a national treasure. We’ve had this relationship for 90 years now. We treasure the relationship we have. It’s definitely going to be a historic 119th U.S. Open.”

How will that happen?

History.

Tom Kite had an iconic U.S. Open moment here in 1992 when he chipped in for birdie during an incredibly windy final round. Tom Kite had an iconic U.S. Open moment here in 1992 when he chipped in for birdie during an incredibly windy final round.

Simply put, we absolutely love having championships here at Pebble Beach.

The USGA believes it possesses the blueprint for an epic U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. That last five here have produced iconic performances and dramatic finishes:

  • Jack Nicklaus and his iconic 1-iron on the 17th hole in 1972
  • Tom Watson and his clutch chip-in on the same 17th hole to nip Nicklaus in 1982
  • Tom Kite and his mastery of merciless winds in 1992
  • Tiger Woods and his ruthless and inspiring dominance in 2000
  • Graeme McDowell and his navigation of a Hall of Fame leaderboard in 2010

From a course setup perspective, the job is simple. Set a similar stage, then sit back and enjoy the show.

“You’re going to see what you saw in ’72, ’82, ’92, 2000 and 2010,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s Senior Managing Director of Championships. Literally the fairway widths are identical to 2010. We don’t need to make a lot of big changes. It’s the U.S. Open at Pebble. Just let history take care of the rest of it.”

What might be different is how the U.S. Open looks this year – compared to wider venues like Chambers Bay (2015), Erin Hills (2017) and Shinnecock Hills (2018).

“We’ve had a lot of players say, ‘Give me my narrow U.S. Open back.’ Well, buckle-up boys, you’re going to get it here,” Bodenhamer said. “That’s not anything new. That’s what Pebble has always been. Wherever we go, the U.S. Open will always look different. Our North Star is presenting a challenging test that is true to what the architect intended, manage it with the weather, and get out of the way so we can let these players on the golf course shine.”

The fairway widths were much wider for recent U.S. Opens at Chambers Bay, Erin Hills and Shinnecock. The fairway widths were much wider for recent U.S. Opens at Chambers Bay, Erin Hills and Shinnecock.

We’ve had a lot of players say, ‘Give me my narrow U.S. Open back.’ Well, buckle-up boys.

And what a U.S. Open it could be:

“Pebble Beach is an amazing test for these great players,” Bodenhamer said. “We want to set it up and present it in a challenging fashion, and then just get out of the way and let Brooks go after his three-peat, Tiger go after his fourth U.S. Open to tie the record, Phil win the grand slam. Those are the stories everyone wants to see. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

Want to experience history in person? Limited weekday tickets are still available!

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