Max Homa has a bit of local knowledge at Los Angeles Country Club, but he isn’t expecting that to make a huge difference in the U.S. Open.
Yes, he set the course record here with a 61 in the first round of the Pac-12 championships, but that was a decade ago, the pins were in favorable spots, and the North Course can change from minute to minute. The tournament begins Thursday.
“The sun being out is real helpful,” said Homa, a former college standout at Cal. “A little bit of wind is going to make it spicy. I hope it’s carnage. I hope it’s a typical U.S. Open. This golf course lends itself to that.”
In recent years, par for the course at this major championship has been well under par. The last four U.S. Open winners finished six-under par or lower, the longest such streak in the history of the tournament. Seven of the previous 14 U.S. Open tournaments were won with a final score of even par or higher.
This marks the first time LACC has played host to the event, and it’s the first time the major has been played in L.A. in 75 years, since the legendary Ben Hogan won at Riviera.
Actual golf is almost a sideshow this week with so much attention being paid to the shocking merger plans for the PGA Tour and Saudi-backed LIV Golf.
The U.S. won the Walker Cup at LACC in 2017 with a team that featured Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa, the only players from that American team that will be in this Open.
“Really good memories here, playing well with the guys, obviously a dominating win, going on from there,” recalled Morikawa, who grew up in La Cañada Flintridge. “I have good memories, good shots out here, which is going to be nice to kind of go back on hopefully and hit some of those.”
Scheffler, now the world’s top-ranked player, said he wasn’t at his best in the Walker Cup and called LACC a good test.
“It’s got a good mix of holes,” he said, “where you have some of those holes that you really need to get after, and then you have other holes out here where you’re kind of hanging on.”
Said Patrick Cantlay, who played at neighboring UCLA and is very familiar with LACC: “I think the harder holes may be harder and the easier holes may be a little bit easier than a standard U.S. Open.”