The USGA expected heavy traffic in the area surrounding Shinnecock Hills during U.S. Open week.
But not anything like this.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Tiger Woods said that the situation was so bad that competitors might not make it to the course on time.
“There are a few guys so far this week have said it’s taken them from the hotel 2 1/2 to 3 hours,” he said. “You know, there’s a good chance that someone might miss their time.”
He also agreed that his luxury yacht, called “Privacy,” where he’s staying during the tournament, helps him to avoid traffic snarls. “Yeah, staying on the dinghy helps,” he said.
Reporters staying at the designated media hotel in Islandia, N.Y., for the U.S. Open have also complained about commuting times. A trip that is supposed to take 45 minutes has stretched into hours of sitting on the highway. Newsday reported on Monday that locals trying to get through the traffic had assumed there must be an accident.
“People are calling in, asking where is the accident, but there is no accident. Some people who were commuting to work gave up and went home,” Sgt. Michael Burns told the paper.
USGA executive director Mike Davis apologized to media members on Tuesday. “We have kind of a nightmare situation on our hands with the hotel,” he said. “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.”
Long Island’s traffic is notoriously bad, even on days when there isn’t a national golf championship being played there. If you’re planning to travel to the U.S. Open this week, consider taking the train.
#USOpen traffic update. I’m 7.5 miles from Shinnecock… pic.twitter.com/g1h6e2728F
— Ryan Gerbosi (@RyanGerbosi) June 12, 2018
5:30am… anyone driving to Shinnecock from the West, just a heads up… traffic already bumper to bumper on the NY 27 10 miles from course. pic.twitter.com/uh7B608mcN
— Craig Connelly (@theweeman77) June 11, 2018
Uh @USGA_PR what are today’s soothing words? 83 minutes into our 6 am shuttle ride from Jake’s Two Hours Away Casino and an hour to go! Soothe away! pic.twitter.com/AfF8ZK3HMx
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) June 12, 2018