McIlroy & Johnson Considered Boycott Of U.S. Open

Dual U.S. Open winner’s Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson were among players believed to be considering a boycott of next week’s championship at Pebble Beach.

This is according to a report appearing in US Golf Digest magazine.

Talk of a boycott stems from the perennial complaints generated each year as the game’s best players tee-up in a U.S. Open.

The common theme of all complaints each year has been the host course set-up and as we witnessed a year ago at Shinnecock Hills, including the scenario on day three of the 2018 event when just three players managed to break par on the Long Island located course.

Three years earlier in the 2015 U.S. Open at┬áChambers Bay on the U.S. West Coast where Sweden’s Henrik Stenson likened the greens to “putting on broccoli” while South Africa’s legendary Gary Player felt the course was designed by “a man who had to have one leg shorter than the other”.

Dustin Johnson does the USGA a huge favour winning the 2016 US Open by three shots after the USGA took seven holes of DJs final round to work out if he should be penalised or not – He was hit with a one-stroke penalty.

And it’s not just course set-up that generates anger among the game’s best with Johnson the centre of a bizarre rules controversy over the final round of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

For ‘DJs’ closing seven holes he and a worldwide viewing audience were left unsure if Johnson was to be slapped with a penalty after his ball had moved as he about to address it.

Johnson was penalisied a stroke and he did a very red-faced USGA a huge favour winning by three shots.

The U.S. Open seems never to escape bad-mouthing.

“We had about 10-15 guys who were willing to sit out after 2016,” Golf Digest quotes a winner of multiple PGA Tour titles as saying. “Some of them were big names – Dustin was one, Rory was another.”

A player identified as a major champion and former world number one is quoted as saying: “I was prepared to do it. Absolutely.”

Players spoke to the magazine on condition of anonymity, and another added: “I figure we needed about 25 guys, and I think we could have gotten there based on what I was hearing from players.

“Really, just one would have done it, but Tiger (Woods) wasn’t playing at the time. Without us, they (the USGA) don’t have a tournament.”

The well-respected magazines cites players were also dissatisfied with the distribution of money from the USGA’s television deal with Fox, which began in 2015.

A winner of several PGA Tour titles is quoted in the article as saying: “I still don’t know where [all the additional money from Fox] goes. I’ve tried a thousand times to get an answer.

“The USGA is making about $100m a year that we know about, that’s just US TV revenue, not international TV money, merchandise and sales and so on.

“If you can show us how you’re using that money to grow the game, we’d be all about it. But they haven’t shown us that.”

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