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SBNation.com – All Posts: Reigning U.S. Open champ Matt Fitzpatrick’s savage diss of USGA amid lackluster crowds


Matt Fitzpatrick, Los Angeles, 123rd U.S. Open Championship
LOS ANGELES — Matt Fitzpatrick plays his shot from the 15th tee resulting in a hole in one during the second round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 16, 2023. | Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The 2022 U.S. Open champion is not thrilled with the crowds—or lack thereof—at the Los Angeles Country Club.

Despite waltzing into the Los Angeles Country Club as the reigning U.S. Open champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick has a bone to pick with the USGA.

The Englishman feels that the 2023 U.S. Open does not come close to the environment of the 2022 edition, which was contested at the Country Club at Brookline, outside of Boston.

“Very poor. It’s disappointing on the USGA side,” Fitzpatrick said to Dan Rapoport of Barstool Sports. “They want a great tournament—from what I’ve heard, a lot of members bought tickets, and that’s why there’s so many less people. Hopefully, it’s not the same for other U.S. Opens going forward.”

Fitzpatrick makes an interesting point.

According to the USGA, only 22,000 tickets were sold daily to the general public. To compare, over 40,000 tickets were sold daily at the 2023 PGA Championship in Rochester, New York.

Los Angeles, U.S. Open
Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES — The gallery walks toward the 12th hole during round 2 of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at the Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles on Friday, June 16, 2023.

The 123rd U.S. Open can be dubbed the “corporate open,” as numerous Southern California corporations and businesses lined up for hospitality suites.

“Largest hospitality support in USGA history,” USGA CEO Mike Whan said Wednesday. “If that sounds familiar, it’s because I said it last year in Boston at the Country Club. We set a new mark for local corporate hospitality, and LACC just doubled that mark—quite an impressive feat.”

Massive hospitality suites line the right side of the first fairway at LACC. Large corporate tents are also to the left of the 10th fairway and behind the 12th green.

Money talks—as the golfing world has learned following the PGA Tour’s deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund—and the USGA will leave Los Angeles with plenty of revenue made.

But the players are not too fond of what they did, and would rather play in front of raucous crowds—like the crowds Fitzpatrick won in front of in Boston a year ago.

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