It's major season and the Opens' always invoke thoughts of history with current players attempting to write legends to be told for ages.This week outside Philadelphia at Merion Golf Club, which is set to host the 113th US Open, it's fifth and first since 1981. Just to put that in perspective David Graham the last winner at Merion won 55,000 for his troubles, the winner this weeks walks away with 1,440,000. Oh how the times have changed, and this week offers an examination on just how much.
"There has been an argument that great golf courses have been made obsolete because of technology and golf balls and drivers and the ball going so far," said Paul Azinger, "We are going to find out here in a few days whether that's the case"
Some say the USGA chose to return to Merion because of the history on these hallow grounds, in 1992 Merion was designated a National Historic Landmark. The most iconic names in american golf have a chapter here:
It was here in 1930 Bobby Jones would go on to complete the historic 'Grand Slam', seven weeks later Jones would walk away from competitive golf at 28.
Then in the 1950 US Open Ben Hogan would make his comeback, a mere sixteen months after a car crash, which nearly killed him and his doctors believed he may never walk again. On the 72nd hole & 36th of the day Hogan used a 1-iron to hit his legendary shot and go on to win in a playoff.
In 1971 Jack Nicklaus & Lee Trevino would play a 18-hole playoff with Trevino winning by 3 strokes. Trevino would go on to win the Canadian and British Open's also that summer, and the lasting image from the playoff is a snake.
This week offers a chance for maybe Phil Mickleson, Tiger Woods or maybe someone else to make history unless Mother Nature steals the spotlight.
The Course: Merion Golf ClubPar: 70 Length: 6,996
Architect: Hugh Irvine Wilson
Purse: 8,000,000 (1st- 1.44 mil.)
2012 Webb Simpson (+1)
2011 Rory McIlroy (-16)*
2010 Graeme McDowell (E)
2009 Lucas Glover (-1)
2008 Tiger Woods (-4)
* Tournament Record
A List: Tiger Woods B List: Matt Kuchar B List: Justin Rose C List: Charl Schwartzel
Bench: Graeme McDowell, Zach Johnson, Steve Stricker, Matteo Manassero
This week we don't have Pauline Gretzky photos but we do have the wicker baskets, which are to Merion what the Liberty Bell is to Philly. well maybe the cheese steak.