Justin Rose complained about the “weak” set-up of the Hazeltine National course and the “pro-am feel” of the flag positions after Europe slumped to a 17-11 defeat by the US in the Ryder Cup on Sunday.
The Olympic champion also said it was tough getting used to the way the layout had been restructured in recent years.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play here in 2002 and 2009 and I think they have shifted the nines around which creates a little bit of havoc in your memory of the course,” Rose told reporters after losing his final-day singles to Rickie Fowler by one hole.
“I was trying to get my head around the layout and remember all the holes. It was definitely a big part of the early part of the weekm” said Rose, “Set-up wise this course can be as tough as you want it to be … today I thought the set-up was incredibly weak. I thought there was very much a pro-am feel in terms of the pin placements, they were all in the middle of the green.”
Rose, who won two points from five matches this week, said the 24 “world-class players” on both teams should have been stretched more by the course.
“We want to showcase our skills, we want to be tested,” the Englishman explained. “The water holes, for example, all the pins were as far away from the water as possible. The pin on 17 is an absolute joke, it’s (only) a nine-iron into the middle of the green. With a match on the line you want a player to step up a little bit more. Even 18, if you hit a good drive you’ve got a wedge to the green. I just felt that coming down the stretch, it was a little soft.”