Traffic coming to and from a golf tournament, especially a major championship, is always a bear, but this week on Long Island, the gridlock is so bad that Tiger Woods believes a competitor missing a tee time isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
Yesterday After doing 3 miles in an hour and 15 minutes, I came to the conclusion that the 20th alternate will get a spot in the field.
— Emiliano Grillo (@GrilloEmiliano) June 13, 2018
Woods, who has experienced no such traffic issues thanks to his 155-foot yacht “Privacy” being docked nearby, has heard the horror stories from players, media and fans in the run-up to the event’s start on Thursday.
“Staying on the dinghy helps,” Woods joked of his $20 million yacht. “There are a few guys so far this week who have said it’s taken them from the hotel 2½ to 3 hours, and, you know, there’s a good chance that someone might miss their time. You get a little traffic, you get maybe a little fender bender, it’s not inconceivable someone could miss their time.”
#USOpen traffic update. I’m 7.5 miles from Shinnecock… pic.twitter.com/g1h6e2728F
— Ryan Gerbosi (@RyanGerbosi) June 12, 2018
This is the fifth time that Shinnecock has held the event and traffic has never been that big of a concern, USGA executive director Mike Davis said. He apologized to media members whose shuttle from the assigned hotel was supposed to take 45 minutes, but has taken well over two hours in some instances.
“We have kind of a nightmare situation on our hands with the hotel,” Davis said, according to Golf.com. “I guess, for what it’s worth, we apologize. It sounds like the traffic is a borderline disaster. I’m not sure we necessarily anticipated that because we’ve used that hotel in the past.”
The course conditions at Shinnecock became infamous in 2004 when the USGA lost the 7th green; the last thing the United States Golf Association needs in their return to the Long Island Club is another black eye for a player missing a tee time due to tournament infrastructure.