Rocco Mediate says player criticism of U.S. Open setup 'made me want to throw up'

Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Rocco Mediate says player criticism of U.S. Open setup 'made me want to throw up'

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Rocco Mediate says player criticism of U.S. Open setup 'made me want to throw up'

Rocco Mediate isn’t here for your U.S. Open complaints.

Unless you were living under a rock, you know the U.S. Golf Association came under fire after a controversial Saturday setup at Shinnecock Hills. It was a day when Phil Mickelson amazingly hit a moving ball on purpose and players complained about the course being pushed over the edge.

Most memorable was Zach Johnson claiming “they’ve lost the golf course.”

It was a hectic controversy, one Mediate was disgusted by.

The 55-year-old is competing in the U.S. Senior Open this week at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. After his opening-round 2-under 68 (which currently has him T-2), Mediate was reminded that course setup has been a big subject of late.

That set him off to give this beautifully descriptive diatribe:

Truthfully, it’s all been a bunch of bull(expletive), what I’ve heard, complete horse(expletive). I’ll say it again if you want me to.

Here’s the deal – here’s the deal, two weeks ago: If you don’t like how it was set up, A, hit better shots; B, don’t come. Don’t come. Someone will take your place. It’s real, real simple. Now you’re getting me mad.

They’re talking about, well, you just shot 10 feet right of the pin, rolled into the bunker. Hit it left of the pin, then, OK? Because everybody’s got to play the golf course.

Let me ask you this question, too. Remember the one about the golf course changed from the morning – have you ever played one that didn’t? Of course it’s going to change. That’s what it’s supposed to do.

Sometimes it can get softer in the afternoon. Sometimes it gets firmer.

What I heard that week made me want to throw up, basically. Just shut up, play. Because I guarantee you that trophy, that beautiful trophy they give away, this week and two weeks ago, is way worth the crap you have to go through to win it. It is. I haven’t done that yet, but it is. I had this much on it. It was worth the try.

Dang, Rocco.

Mediate isn’t preaching from a place of ignorance either: He’s played in 15 U.S. Opens. As for the point about it being worth it, Mediate indeed hasn’t won a U.S. Open or any major.

But we think it’s fair to consider him experienced here when he was one 12-foot Tiger Woods putt away from capturing the 2008 U.S. Open (which Woods then memorably won in 19 extra holes).

Mediate also made a more direct point about the nature of USGA setups.

“USGA courses are always different than the other ones because they’re always the hardest. They’re supposed to be,” Mediate said. “That’s what I love about U.S. Opens, it brings out – it brings your best and your worst out. And if you let it get you, it will get you. There’s no question about that.”

Hey, Mediate isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Does he have a point that the griping was out of hand?

We’re guessing some of the competitors at Shinnecock earlier this month wouldn’t see Mediate’s wisdom.

But for some, it could make them think a little bit harder about this one.

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