TROON, Scotland (AP) — Even during a week when the USGA didn’t have a championship, it still came under scrutiny by way of comparisons.
With a forecast of gusts topping 30 mph for the third round Saturday, the R&A finished its morning preparation of Royal Troon and decided not to cut or roll the putting surfaces in case the wind got out of hand. The greens were slower, though links putting surfaces typically are not fast.
The result was low scoring and quick pace of play. Henrik Stenson, who has a recent history of being put on the clock, and Phil Mickelson finished the final round in just under four hours. The threesomes during the opening two rounds were finishing well under five hours.
Mickelson, the runner-up a record six times in the U.S. Open, was asked to explain the difference between how the USGA and R&A sets up the golf course.
“I think that R&A sets the golf course up to be as fair as possible and to try to kind of identify who the best player is regardless of what the score is given the conditions and so forth,” Mickelson said. “Sometimes it’s 20 under. Sometimes people don’t want that many under par. But the fact is if somebody plays some…