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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

U.S. Open - Review

While I haven't done this very often this year, I'm going to spend a few minutes recapping my thoughts from the U.S. Open. I was already thinking about it, and a comment from a reader gave me just the nudge I needed.

Here are a few scattered thoughts:

  • I really thought Rory McIlroy put the idea that Jordan Spieth was a challenger to his throne to bed with his wins at the Match Play and Quail Hollow, but clearly Spieth didn't get the memo. If McIlroy putts at all, this would have been an even more epic finish.
  • I don't think Dustin Johnson choked. A choker doesn't birdie the par-3 17th to put himself in the mix, bomb a drive to the narrow part of the fairway on the par-5 18th and stick a long iron to 12 feet for a look at eagle. As soon as that ball didn't feed back down the slope on approach, the immediate thought hit me that this wasn't a guaranteed two putt, even from that distance. Day's "lag" further supported that.
  • Ironically, in some ways Chambers Bay reminded me of Augusta National. I'll need to explain that. The only other course that jumps to mind where slopes on greens can feed balls to or away from a hole to the degree of Chambers Bay may be ANGC. Of course, the surface of those greens are polar opposites.
  • I liked Chambers Bay tee-to-green more than it would seem most people did. I'm not sure I liked it for a U.S. Open, but I didn't hate it. I certainly liked it more than a Torrey Pines South, but it absolutely lacked the traditional U.S. Open charm of a Winged Foot, Merion, Oakmont, etc. Things will get back on track quickly with Oakmont next year, and I am thoroughly looking forward to that. In fact, Chambers Bay may have made us appreciate the brutal tests we typically see in these events.
  • I believe the merit of a venue is validated by the leaderboard it produces. When the top three is Spieth, DJ and Oosthuizen, it's hard to argue Chambers Bay. 
  • What's there to say about Tiger Woods that hasn't already been said?
  • Be careful not to dub some of the non-PGA TOUR regulars like Grace and Smith the next big thing just off this performance. Those greens were much more on par with Euro Tour events than PGA TOUR greens.
  • More on Spieth...he won with his "B" game. That was very Tiger Woods-like and very scary for the rest of the field.
  • What happened to Rickie?
  • This should serve as a pretty strong preview for St. Andrews. Guys like Oosthuizen and Grace have already experienced success at the Old Course, so file that way for next month.
That was fun. Hope you found it enjoyable in some way as well!

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