The First Call Inbox

Taking stock of the 2023 U.S. Open

Readers of The First Call offer their takeaways from the major that was played at Los Angeles Country Club for the first time and produced a first-time major champion in Wyndham Clark

US Open 2023
Wyndham Clark, right, celebrates the winning putt with caddie John Ellis on the 18th hole during the U.S. Open's fourth round at Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, California.

Question of the week [June 19-25]: What were your takeaways from the U.S. Open, won by Wyndham Clark at Los Angeles Country Club?

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My take away is pretty simple: I will no longer listen to any golf broadcast that includes Morgan Pressel. Her obnoxious, whiny, nasally voice is almost worse than 1,000 fingernails on a chalk board. But if that isn't bad enough, she just can't shut her mouth. If anyone else on the broadcast team says anything, she has to immediately open her mouth and give us her opinion, which goes on and on, and then she repeats the same insight 10 minutes later. Her agent must have negotiated a contract that pays her by the word because she just can't shut up. Maybe it would be tolerable if she had something to say, but she doesn't.

Dave Parske
Fort Myers, Florida

1. After Thursday’s soft conditions leading to low scoring, a real U.S. Open broke out. I was glad to see it
2. Wyndham Clark was a deserved champion. He simply got it done when the others couldn’t. 
3. From the TV viewing perspective, I thought the course was entertaining and interesting with a lot different views than we normally see week in and week out. If you’re a 15 handicap, think of what you would shoot trying to play out of that rough and barranca and those downhill and sidehill lies. Could you break 110? So I kind of hate seeing the course take some of the hits it took. With those big old fairways, only 18 guys break par.  
4. It does appear that crowd viewing on many holes was an issue. But they have 15 years to fix that and the legitimate pro complaints about the course. I’ll be watching if I’m still around, and if not, that’s my complaint. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

Caps off to the USGA for a thrilling, challenging championship on a course few knew and fewer mastered. 

One lost opportunity to help the viewer appreciate how treacherous the inundating greens were — have more greenside cameras at ground level as opposed to high up in the towers. The high elevation camera angles made even the steepest downhill putts look benign, which from the rare ground-level glimpse we know were not.

Bo McBee
Groton, Connecticut

The emergence of Wyndham Clark gave us someone else, in addition to Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy, to cheer for. Clark played to his strengths and the other challengers couldn’t muster what was needed to win. You go, Wyndham. I’m sure the members of Quail Hollow are thrilled,

On the telecast, I wish NBC would preface tee shots with overhead views of the course to give the viewers more context such as where a hole is in relation to others. The course maps showing where birdies have been scored were okay but too quick on the screen to comprehend. Don’t get me wrong; the holes shown were good, but there needs to be more of the course layout. This should be standard for all golf telecasts.

Jim Pomeranz
Cary, North Carolina

Has anyone seen an actual contract for a LIV player? The vast majority of the media leads one to believe that "X" player got $200 million up front or close to that to sign with LIV, whether or not they ever swung a club. 

I personally find this hard to believe, but would rather think the contract is like the ones that NBA and NFL players sign.  They sign $200 million contracts, but they are spread out over a number of years and only a portion is guaranteed.

I also find it hard to rationalize in my mind why any PGA Tour player deserves to be rewarded for remaining a member of the PGA Tour unless he was promised a certain sum by the Tour for not leaving to join LIV.  Each player that was offered had a chance to accept or reject. In my estimation, the ones who chose to stay have been rewarded with opportunities to make a lot more money as PGA Tour will have much larger purses. 

Most of us, at least at my old age, experienced an offer to switch jobs or applied for a new job to make more money. The ones who felt they deserved more money might have gone into see the boss and got one or two responses — got a raise or wishes for success and good luck. No one that I ever knew got a raise or bonus because someone who left the company made more money.

My comments do not consider politics or morality, just capitalism.

George Shutt
Orlando, Florida

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