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USGA eager for only players to take centre stage at US Open this time

• Rules farce hit 2016 event and condition of greens questioned in 2015
• ‘Something like the last couple of years affects our whole organisation’

Those in positions of authority may be soft targets for vociferous abuse but nobody has matched the United States Golf Association’s fuelling of such fires. It is no exaggeration to suggest a peaceful, straightforward US Open from Thursday at Erin Hills is necessary to justify the lofty status as bestowed on those who preside over it. Supposed guardians of the game have proven themselves as figures of ridicule all too often in recent times. By what other means can one explain tournament executives being better known than some competitors?

The rules farce that overshadowed Dustin Johnson’s maiden major win, a year ago at Oakmont, would have been damaging enough for the USGA had it arrived in isolation. Twelve months earlier, the world’s best players had erupted in fury regarding the dreadful condition of greens at Chambers Bay.

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