Any golf fan in entrance of his TV in 2008 remembers this putt by Tiger Woods on the 18 inexperienced and this play off performed the subsequent day till the nineteenth gap. It was then the nice first of Torrey Pines as a Major course which is able to subsequently make a comeback this 12 months to host the 121st US Open. It should be mentioned that the golf of San Diego has the shoulders to obtain what is taken into account to be the most tough of the 4 Major tournaments. Breathtaking views, wind, thick roughs, deep bunkers, slender fairways, spectacular holes all unfold over at least 7134 meters. An actual problem for the gamers, a super efficiency stage for the spectators.
Military base, circuit, golf course
Before seeing the greatest names in golf competing in the midst of the majestic pines distinctive to this area, Torrey Pines knew an entire different use, that of a army base. During World War II, the website was occupied by Camp Callan, an anti-aircraft artillery coaching middle for the US Army. From 1941 to 1945 he occupied the premises earlier than closing, leaving the space deserted. It was solely in 1951 that the place will discover a new use, that of circuit for racing vehicles! For 5 years, between the stays of previous army buildings, the finest pilots in the nation (Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Masten Gregory, Carol Shelby …) will come to compete till 1956 when it was determined to rework the golf course space.
Torrey Pines turns into a hyperlinks
As its title suggests, the particularity of the course lies in its massive pines scattered throughout the course. Natural obstacles which have gotten more and more uncommon. Affected by the illness and broken by the drought, the North and South programs have seen a dozen much less since 2008. A sluggish transformation, however which basically modifications the municipal golf course. “There is a huge difference from when I first came here, explains Joe DeBock, teacher at the club for 30 years. The course is played like a links now, and it is becoming more and more so ». Old man of the circuit and living a few kilometers away, Phil Mickelson was also a witness. “The evolution of the course has been so slow over the years that you hardly notice it until you look at 30 years ago and today. But the views seem to be more open ”.
The southern course on which the gamers will face one another this week was notably marked by its pines. In 1987, Craig Stadler knelt on a towel under a cypress tree at the 14th gap and was disqualified after viewers denounced him for “building a stance.” Eight years later, in a publicity stunt for the match, Stadler used a chainsaw on the tree. One of the most emblematic pins was that of the 15 which was torn off throughout a storm and which has not been changed since. After his fall, Brandt Snedeker declared “ It won’t ever be the identical once more. This tree on quantity 15 was an integral a part of the course. “
The pine of the fifteenth after the storm of 2016. (KC Alfred)
A champion-sized course
The US Open is thought to be the hardest of the 4 Major tournaments and this a hundred and fifteenth version ought to be no exception. The first photos launched by the gamers this week depart little doubt about the complexity of the roughs. “I would say the rough is very thick, but it is rather irregular, Colin Morikawa developed at a press conference. In some places if you are lucky the ball stays in the air so you can hit a few good shots and in other places the ball digs in and a 9 iron hit becomes the longest club you can hope for to play. “
A change for the regulars of the Farmers Insurance Open which takes place yearly at Torrey Pines. “The greatest distinction is the tough somewhat thicker and this very oily grass, defined Jon Rahm, seventh in the final version of the Farmers. Add to that quite a few par 4s of 500 yards (458m) and you’ve got a course monster! “
Long par 4 but also long par 5 like 13, one of Torrey Pines signature holes of 621 yards (567m) with no less than 12 bunkers. But for the Spaniard the main challenge this week will be around the greens. “I think the main difference from previous years is the firmness of the greens. When you play it early in the year, usually you can hit anything towards the flag, the ball will stop and you can score low. With this firmness, I don’t think it will be that easy. You won’t see many laps at 5, 6, 7 under par. “