This arrived from Titleist's PR man Joe Gomes in my email box this morning. I guess they're anticipating that some of us found the 390 yard drives and the whole driver-sand wedge thing a bit unusual for a US Open. According to Titleist, the Power Game (that's capitalized) has arrived! (And so has the slugfest boredom that killed professional tennis.) Well, Joe doesn't have to worry, David Fay and Reed MacKenzie said they are fine with distances now, just like they were five years when 300 yards was becoming more commonplace.
POWER GAME DOES NOT GUARANTEE SUCCESS AT U.S. OPEN
Fairhaven, MA (June 16, 2003) - To anybody who witnessed or watched the 103rd U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, the arrival of the Power Game and the distances achieved by some players are not bringing professional golf to the edge of ruin as recently expressed by a vocal minority. If professional golf is experiencing some irreparable harm, it was certainly not identified at the U.S. Open.
Are players hitting the golf ball longer? No doubt. The average driving distance at the U.S. Open for all rounds was 288 yards. Was it reflected in the overall scoring? Not by a long shot. The scoring average of all 155 players in the field was 72.38, more than 2-over par. Some additional
The average driving distance for the final round was 295.8 yards, yet the average score was 73 or 3-over par.
A total of 20 players averaged more than 300 yards in driving distance for the week, only four of whom finished among the top 10 in scoring.
Sixty-eight players made the cut, which came at 3-over-par 143, and is the lowest cut ever at the U.S. Open in terms of score and the second lowest in relation to par. However, only 27 players finished the tournament at 3-over par or better.
11 of the 20 players who averaged more than 300 yards in driving distance finished between 33rd and 66th in scoring. The top two players in driving distance finished 57th (+10) and 42nd (+6), respectively, in scoring.
The U.S. Open champion placed 25th in driving distance with an average of 295 yards. He also was 2nd in driving accuracy (70%), and was 1st in greens in regulation (74%).
The winning score of 272 tied a record for the lowest 72-hole score in U.S. Open history, also achieved in 2000 (Pebble Beach), 1993 (Baltusrol) and 1980 (Baltusrol).
While there were 24 players under par after the first round and 26 players under par through 36 holes of play, only four players finished with sub-par totals for the tournament. Only one player has finished under par in the first two major championship tournaments of the 2003 season.
Over the course of 24 PGA Tour events this year through the U.S. Open Championship, three players in their 20s have combined for five wins, with the youngest winner being age 27; and four player in their 40s have combined for five wins, with the oldest being age 47.
While confronted by changes with players' physical fitness and strength, course conditions, and equipment technology, the professional game continues to grow and prosper because the rules in place more than adequately control technological influence. As evidenced by the performances at the U.S. Open and at PGA Tour events throughout the year,
players' abilities should enjoy upper case recognition. After all, as the tagline says ? "these guys are good!"