U.S. Open Recap
June 15, 2014
By Dan Daly
Editor's Note: Be sure to follow @_DanDaly on Twitter this golf season for his off-the-cuff remarks and entertaining commentary!
The 2014 Masters was the lowest rated in over twenty years…I have to believe the 2014 US Open will follow suit. I blame one person for that, and it's not Martin Kaymer. Winning by 8 shots, Kaymer clearly was in a league of his own this week, but it was another man that has become the forefront of the US Open recently for all the wrong reasons.
Mike Davis, step into my office…cause you're
fuckin' fired. For those of you not familiar with Mike Davis, he was appointed executive director of the USGA in March of 2011. The four US Opens prior to Davis taking over were a combined even par. The four since he took over? 23-under! The year Davis took over as executive director Rory turned the US Open into the John Deere Classic by shooting 16-under par and basically broke every record possible. That is until this year when Kaymer broke Rory's 36-hole scoring record. That's the two lowest 36-hole scoring marks in the 114 year history of the US Open, within a 4 year span, both on Mike Davis' watch. In the 110 US Open's prior to Davis becoming executive director only four players had ever reached double digits under par…in the four since he took over…two. In the 110 US Open's prior to Davis becoming executive director only Tiger Woods had ever finished a US Open double digits under par (and second place that week was 3-over)…in the four since he took over…one with a 9-under to go with it. So like I said, Mike Davis, your fuckin' fired!
Don't misunderstand me, what Martin Kaymer did was nothing short of spectacular, but the way Davis and the USGA set up Pinehurst he might as well have pissed on Donald Ross's grave, punched Bill Coore in the nuts and had an affair with Ben Crenshaw's wife. I'm all for drivable par 4's if that is the way the hole was designed, but when you take good two shot par 4's and ruin them by moving the tees up 100 yards you have completely altered the way a course was designed. Add to the fact that Davis did the same to several par 5's and that's just putting yourself ahead of the tournament, and that to me is a fireable offense.
As for Pinehurst, I think what Coore and Crenshaw did was fantastic, they did exactly what they were asked to do. I would love to go play #2 and I think it should host a Ryder Cup, PGA, etc but I'm just not sure I like it for a US Open. Maybe I'm alone on this one but that wasn't a US Open to me. The US Open is about narrow fairways and 4 inch rough. It's about guys hacking it out sideways and being penalized when you miss the fairway…it's about fair carnage. I don't want to see it every week, but I want it once a year. Guys hitting almost 80% of fairways in a US Open is not a US Open. Ironically enough, the only time a guy had to wedge out all week was Kaymer on 18. Basically I love when it's a hard test for the best in the world, and this was hard, but it was hard because of a gimmicky course set-up. I'll pass.
Again, what Kaymer did this week was one of the most impressive displays of golf I have ever seen. Kevin Na put it best when asked about Kaymer this week, "I heard he played the No.3 course…Is that true?" Did it make for a boring tournament? Absolutely, but that's not Kaymer's fault. He simply played that much better than everyone else. The dude not only won the PLAYERS and the US Open, but led both wire-to-wire. I don't know if Kaymer can keep this up but that's pretty frickin' silly. If the British Open or PGA this year falls on Grandparent's Day or Sibling's Day or some other family appreciation day I can tell you where my money will be.
Look, I don't want to take all the credit for Kaymer's win, but in my preview last week I did put him in the Dumb and Dumber category with a Top Gun reference. That's about as karma as you can possible give a person. So, you're welcome Martin.
As for the guys that didn't win this week.
Erik Compton may not have won the US Open…but Erik Compton won the US Open. His story is about as good a story as you can get in sports. Couldn't be happier for the guy and glad he held on Sunday to not only finish T-2 in a US Open but qualified for the Masters among other things. The worst (ok, best) quote I heard all week was, "I don't see the big deal if Compton wins the US Open on his third heart, Tiger won three US Open's without a heart."
I have to admit, I've done a 175 on Rickie Fowler. I will never be able to fully come around simply because the Golf Boyz videos are just awful, but I'm on board. The boy band haircut, the terrible pornstache and the backwards hat during all interviews are all a thing of the past. The outfits, while not my first choice are clearly killing it from a marketing standpoint so I get it. With that said, the outfit Thursday paying tribute to the late great Payne Stewart was nothing short of spectacular. I have also noticed that he is basically the only player on tour that doesn't whine or bitch when he misses a putt or hits a bad shot, and quite frankly it's kind of refreshing. With that said, he still needs to learn how to win a tournament. Johnny Miller, as only Johnny Miller can do, was much more matter of fact about it, "So far Rickie has been big hat, no cattle."
Speaking of the horrible Golf Boyz, the only reigning Masters champion to miss the cut at a U.S. Open since 1995? Bubba Watson in 2012 AND 2014. He may go on to win several more Masters but he might as well just take the week off during the US Open going forward. At least he's always home for Father's Day.
As for my pick this week? When I picked Dufner to win I clearly forgot you have to be able to make putts to win a US Open. It's painful to watch a guy hit the ball that good and putt that bad. That goes double for Mickelson. It's so bad for both of these guys right now that if I was in a putting contest tomorrow from 5 to 10 feet with Mickelson and Dufner I honestly believe I would win.
Rory, I'm no mathematician but if you keep playing nine hole stretches in the 40's you aren't going to win a tournament anytime soon. The one good thing the USGA did this week was pairing the Thur/Fri trio of Brendon de Jonge, Shane Lowry and Kevin Stadler. Or as they became known as the Heavyweight Group.
I'm sorry but that's funny and those guys need to learn to develop a sense of humor. You're fat, get over it.
As for the weirdest story I saw this week, or any US Open for that matter: the golf cart driver for NBC Roger Maltbie was arrested and handcuffed on the 11th tee.
Finally, I got my first US Open related text at 8:01 Central Time Thursday morning, "Shit, forgot about Berman…just hit the mute button and went back to work." So that pretty much sums that up. As for the departure of my man Johnny Miller at the US Open…well, he did shoot a 63 in 1973 at Oakmont…it's just too bad he never brought it up on the air.
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