BETHESDA, Md. – The U.S. Open will return to Shinnecock Hills in 2018, heading back to a course that produced one of the most embarrassing final rounds in the tournament's history.
Retief Goosen won by two shots over Phil Mickelson in 2004 after a final round marred by greens that were almost too fast to play. At one point, officials had to sprinkle the seventh green simply to keep balls on the putting surface.
Ernie Els played in the final group that day and shot 80. No one broke par in the final round and the average score was 78.7.
USGA officials conceded they lost control of the course.
But they said new course-setup guidelines introduced shortly after Shinnecock — including the idea of gradually increasing heights of rough — make them confident they won't have a repeat in 2018, which will mark the fifth U.S. Open to take place at one of the country's hallmark courses.
"Shinnecock is a challenging course to set up, and we certainly experienced that in 2004 when we let the course get away from us the last round," USGA president Jim Hyler said Wednesday. "This has been well chronicled and discussed over the years. I will tell you that we have used this as a wholesome learning experience, and this experience led us to the development of our current setup philosophy that we use today."
Other winners at Shinnecock include Raymond Floyd in 1986 and Corey Pavin in 1995.
The USGA had already awarded the 2019 U.S. Open to Pebble Beach. Other future tournament sites: Olympic Club in 2012; Merion in 2013; Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014; Chambers Bay in 2015; Oakmont in 2016 and Erin Hills in 2017.