U.S. Open Recap
June 19, 2017
By Dan Daly
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Editor's Note: Be sure to follow @_DanDaly on Twitter this golf season for his off-the-cuff remarks and entertaining commentary!
With all due respect to Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and everyone else that set a “record” this week…breaking any sort of scoring record at a U.S. Open during the Mike Davis era is like losing your virginity to a hooker.
The U.S. Open had been played 110 times prior to Mike Davis taking over the USGA in March of 2011. In that span a grand total of FOUR players had ever even reached double digits under par in a U.S. Open and only ONE had ever finished at double digits under par in a U.S. Open. That was Tiger Woods in 2000 (where second place was three over par) in what was the single greatest Major Championship performance of all-time. In the first U.S. Open under Davis, Rory shot 16-under and obliterated every scoring record along the way. Three years later Martin Kaymer again reached 10-under at Pinehurst before finishing at 9-under.
Fast forward to 2017 at Erin Hills where NINE players reached double digits under par and seven finished double digits under par, including the winner at 16-under which tied the lowest U.S. Open ever shot in relation to par, with the other obviously coming from the Davis era.
So to recap, in the first 110 U.S. Open’s, four players had ever reached 10-under par or better. In the seven U.S. Open’s since Davis took over, ELEVEN players have reached 10-under or better including three of the four lowest winning scores in relation to par. Throw in the disastrous set-up at Chamber’s Bay in 2015 and the complete debacle at Oakmont last year and the Mike Davis era at the USGA is officially the worst tenure any one person has ever had at one organization…and it’s not even close.
I compared this U.S. Open to the John Deere over the weekend but I will defer to my man Johnny Miller instead, "Taking nothing away from nine-under par…nine under is incredible with U.S. Open pressure, but it isn’t a U.S. Open course that I’m familiar with the way it was set up. A 63 for a par 72 is a heck of a score, even if it was the Milwaukee Open."
You can say Miller is just bitter that his record 8-under was broken, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But then again, neither is he. The round JT played Saturday was insanely good, and the two 3-woods he hit on 15 and 18 were two of the best shots you will ever see hit…anywhere, but the 9-under 63 he shot isn’t in the same galaxy as the 8-under 63 Miller shot. This was called a U.S. Open in name only.
If this is the new U.S. Open I will take a hard pass. What happened at Erin Hills would make for an incredible Masters, or PGA, or Waste Management Open for that matter, but that wasn’t a U.S. Open. I want carnage, I want par to matter, I want guys leaving holes pissed off (and not in the Jon Rahm kind of way), I want a birdie to vault you up the leaderboard. In short….I want the U.S. Open back.
Now, with all that being said…congratulations to Brooks Koepka; it isn’t his fault Mike Davis and the USGA are idiots and don’t know how to run a U.S. Open. He won, as predicted here in February and again last week (humble brag), and deserves all the praise and accolades that are coming his way. The dude hit 86% of greens in regulation over 72 holes and 17/18 on Sunday…that’s insanely good under U.S. Open pressure, on any golf course.
Now if only Koepka can work on showing a little emotion. My lord Brooks, you just won the U.S. Open, at least pretend to be excited. My kids are more excited about pooping in the toilet than you were winning the U.S. Open. I don’t expect you to be Patrick Reed in the Ryder Cup excited, but somewhere between that and having a successful bowel movement isn’t asking too much is it?
As for the rest of the field.
When 8 of the top 12 players in the world miss the cut, including the top 3 players in the world it makes for a pretty weak leaderboard.
I’m not sure it’s time to hit the panic button on Dustin Johnson just yet, but how does a guy go from the best player on the planet (and it wasn’t even close) to back-to-back missed cuts at the Memorial and the U.S. Open? I know, I know, the fall and then a new baby and blah, blah, blah but the guy went from Superman to Clark Kent in world record time.
DJ’s recent struggles are nothing compared to Rory though. What the hell has happened to Rory McIlroy? Three missed cuts in his last five Major starts? How can a guy with that much talent be such a non-factor on the PGA Tour all of the sudden? The guy sat there on Wednesday and said, "We have 60 yards from left line to right line (referring to the fairway width), you've got 156 of the best players in the world here. If we can't hit it in that avenue, you may as well pack your bags and go home” then proceeded to hit 5 of 14 fairways on Thursday in route to a 78. But hey, at least his Twitter game is strong.
Jason Day had the worst showing of all among the top players in the world beating exactly 7 players in the field this week. Seven.
Has anyone seen Jordan Spieth’s putting stroke? If so please return it immediately. The guy is hitting it too good to shoot the numbers he is shooting. When Jordan Spieth is 44th out of 68 players to make the cut in putts per round we have a problem.
I genuinely feel sorry for Adam Scott. To hit that good for that long and be that bad at putting, he has to be on the verge of a mental breakdown. It’s to the point now where he would be better off just going back to the anchor putter and taking the penalty.
If coffee is in fact for closers then Rickie Fowler will never be sponsored by Starbucks. How can a guy be that good of a closer off the course with the ladies and be that bad of a closer on the course? Truth be told…I can’t say if I had to pick between the two I wouldn’t go the same direction myself actually. Never mind Rickie, you keep doing what you’re doing. It doesn’t suck to be you.
I don’t know if Jon Rahm needs a hug, a pacifier or a pot brownie before he tees off each round but the guy needs to get it together and get it together fast. Having talent is one thing, but it does you no good at all if you have the emotional stability of 13-year-old girl that just got dumped on Facebook.
I know I’m going to catch hell for this and I’m a Tiger homer and the guy is “irrelevant now” and I need to move on, etc. but I can’t. At one point or another over the last three years all of the guys above have been compared to or mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods. Can we now, finally, once and for all, for the love of god, PLEASE stop with the Tiger comparisons? Please.
No one mentioned above, or currently alive on the planet not named Jack Nicklaus should ever be compared to Tiger from a talent standpoint, ever. There is one Jack Nicklaus, there is one Tiger Woods and there are a bunch of other good players on the PGA Tour since, but none are in the same hemisphere as either of those guys. Tiger played in 52 Majors from when he turned pro until his life fell apart in November of 2009 and missed two cuts in a major (one right after his dad died, and he won the next two). Rory just missed his 3rd cut in 5 Majors. DJ has missed the cut in the last two Majors he has played. I could go on but you get the point. So please, I beg of you, stop with the Tiger comparisons to the current crop of Tour players, it’s just dumb.
Finally, congratulations to Scottie Scheffler beating out Cameron Champ for low Amateur, the kid has some serious talent. #27-25 (For all you Longhorn and Aggies out there)
I’ll be back next month for the British Open.