SA duo fume at USGA over Shinnecock course

Branden Grace (AP)
Branden Grace (AP)

Southampton - South African golfers Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace have slammed the United States Golf Association (USGA) after the conclusion of the 118th US Open at Shinnecock Hills.

READ: Koepka wins second straight US Open title

The Long Island course was under heavy scrutiny once again - as was the case in 2004 - however, over the weekend high winds dried out the sloping greens.

In the third round on Saturday, putts that had been challenging, suddenly became impossible with the slippery greens turning brown.

Tough scoring conditions led to a 75.328 third round stroke average, with no golfer able to sign for a bogey-free card. Through 54 holes, there had only been 21 rounds under par.

USGA chief executive Mike Davis admitted their plan to make the US Open the "ultimate" test in golf backfired.

Oosthuizen believes the USGA dropped the ball with their pin selections.

"I think they could've done a better job yesterday, I don't think it's so much the firmness and the speed of the greens more than where the positions of the pins were. You know it is the US Open, you expect to be really tough but if they had the pins they had today, yesterday, you could still manage," Oosthuizen told Sport24 after his efforts on Sunday.

READ: Oosthuizen SA's best at US Open

"Obviously they got it completely wrong yesterday. You don't hear anyone saying 'Sorry', and they're trying to make a bit of excuses. Every year we seem to play the US Open and something goes wrong. They need to look at that and do a better job."

Oosthuizen's compatriot, Grace, concurred and said that the course made him re-strategise with his mindset on trying to get the ball on to the green and fight for a par.

Grace posted 5-over 75 in the final round to end 12-over par for the tournament - and finish tied for 25th.

"The US Open is tough and you have to grind it out, as soon as you start forcing and try to make something happen then the same things backfire out there and that was the case for me," Grace told Sport24 at Shinnecock Hills.

"I didn't really play that bad, I thought I played pretty decent, but when I missed the fairways - I was just missing them one yard in all the time. Then you can't attack anything from there and you have to go on the safe side and try and hit the greens. Sometimes when you stop going for targets and you're just trying to hit a green, it's actually a lot easier to miss things up and that's what happened. I was just trying to make the greens and make pars. I was trying to carry on and stay positive and then sooner or later you'll make some birdies but that was obviously not the case today."

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson said on Saturday after his round that the USGA had "lost" the course.

Grace, who finished tied for 25th at the end of the tournament, agreed with Johnson's sentiments and stated that a Major event shouldn't be played in these conditions.

"It's the first time it's happened, but this day should've happened yesterday. If they should've lost the golf course, they should've lost it today and not yesterday. They should've prepared for that. Everybody says, 'When are they going to learn', because it just keeps happening over and over again," said the South African.

"In 2004, the same thing happened. This year they said, 'It's not going to happen and that they got everything under control' and then it happened again. It's tough and it's really hard and then you get things like today where a couple of guys played badly yesterday when they play earlier and they go out there with more of a gettable golf course and you can shoot five or six-under, and you have a chance to win. 

"A Major shouldn't be like that, the guys who've played badly should be out of it. It's the guy who grinds it out the best and that's something that's obviously lacking this week, I think," he ended.

Next year's 119th US Open will be played at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

Final round scores on Sunday in the 118th US Open Golf Championship at Shinnecock Hills (USA unless noted, par-70):

281 - Brooks Koepka 75-66-72-68

282 - Tommy Fleetwood (ENG) 75-66-78-63

283 - Dustin Johnson 69-67-77-70

284 - Patrick Reed 73-72-71-68

285 - Tony Finau 75-72-66-72

286 - Xander Schauffele 72-74-72-68, Daniel Berger 76-71-66-73, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 75-70-72-69, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 71-70-74-71

287 - Justin Rose (ENG) 71-70-73-73, 287 - Webb Simpson 76-71-71-69

288 - Russell Knox (SCO) 73-71-75-69, Zach Johnson 73-73-72-70 Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 73-70-75-70

289 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 76-72-68-73

290 - Li Haotong (CHN) 79-68-74-69, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 75-70-79-66, Paul Casey (ENG) 73-73-73-71, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 74-72-75-69

291 - Steve Stricker 73-75-73-70, Rickie Fowler 73-69-84-65, Charley Hoffman 71-69-77-74, Brian Gay 73-74-70-74, Dylan Meyer 77-69-71-74

292 - Francesco Molinari (ITA) 75-72-72-73, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 74-72-77-69, Alex Noren (SWE) 72-72-77-71, Jason Dufner 70-74-79-69, Russell Henley 69-73-77-73, Matthieu Pavon (FRA) 71-77-74-70, Charles Howell III 71-72-77-72, Branden Grace (RSA) 76-69-72-75, Justin Thomas 74-70-74-74, Bryson DeChambeau 76-69-73-74, Ian Poulter (ENG) 69-72-76-75

293 - Pat Perez 73-71-77-72, Bill Haas 76-72-74-71, Brian Harman 74-70-78-71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 73-71-76-73, Gary Woodland 79-69-70-75

294 - Sam Burns 71-76-75-72, Ryan Fox (NZL) 73-72-74-75, Patrick Rodgers 72-72-83-67, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 76-72-73-73

295 - Marc Leishman (AUS) 74-69-78-74, Scott Piercy 69-71-79-76, Patrick Cantlay 75-71-76-73, Brandt Snedeker 72-76-73-74

296 - Phil Mickelson 77-69-81-69, Peter Uihlein 75-72-75-74, Ross Fisher (ENG) 76-71-79-70, Luis Gagne (CRC) 73-74-75-74, Matt Parziale 74-73-74-75, Tim Wilkinson (NZL) 76-72-78-70, Jim Furyk 73-71-72-80

297 - Dean Burmester (RSA) 75-73-75-74, Chris Naegel 73-73-75-76, Jimmy Walker 75-70-79-73, Mickey DeMorat 72-72-80-73, Tyler Duncan 77-67-81-72

298 - Calum Hill (SCO) 75-69-81-73

299 - Andrew Johnston (ENG) 73-73-82-71

300 - Brendan Steele 72-73-75-80

301 - Cameron Wilson 75-73-76-77

302 - Kevin Chappell 75-72-78-77

303 - Will Grimmer 73-72-78-80

306 - An Byeong-hun (KOR) 71-76-81-78

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England 204 & 284/8 (104 ov)
West Indies 318
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