Imagine a golf tournament involving the best players in the world and at the end of four rounds, not one golfer finished below par.
That’s the U.S. Open, courtesy of that teeny parcel of a course in Ardmore, Pa., better known as Merion the Monster.
All we heard before the tournament was that Merion would give up too many birdies to uphold the honor of an U.S. Open. Why, Merion played less than 7,000 yards, unheard of in today’s pro world.
Ah, but the old girl they said was too out of touch, too short, too defenseless, had something to say about all that.
Instead of relying on length, Merion fought back with some of the roughest rough you’ll find this side of a South American jungle. She fought back with pin placements that would befuddle an acupuncturist. And, don’t forget the greens. After putting them for four days, you can bet there will be a line of pros seeking psychiatric counseling this week.
Sergio Garcia took a 10 on a par-4 hole, courtesy of three shots that settled out of bounds. There were more snowmen than you can find in Alaska.
Part of me enjoys seeing the PGA crème de la crème muttering to themselves as they three-putt greens.
If the U.S. Open chews up and spits out the best golfers on the planet, just think what the average Joe Blow would score at Merion.
First of all, they couldn’t buy enough X-out golf balls to play four rounds. Joe Blow couldn’t break 100 on Merion. Don’t kid yourself, Mr. Public Course hotshot. You either, Mr. Private Course showoff with the latest clubs, hottest golf balls and fanciest golf pimp outfits this side of Ricky Fowler.
Merion would punish you, just like it did the best golfers in the game.
Tiger Woods was not up to the task in search of his first major win in five years. Woods had 20 bogeys to go with 10 birdies. He shot 76-74 on the weekend, weekends he used to thrive on. Woods was toast after he had a triple bogey 8 on the second hole Sunday.
Rory McIlroy is projected to be golf’s next superstar, but that day will have to wait. McIlroy posted scores of 75-76 on the weekend.
England’s Justin Rose didn’t win the U.S. Open. He survived it. Finishing at 1-over, Rose became the first Englishman to win a major since 1996, when Sir Nick Faldo won the Masters.
As he made par on the final hole, Rose turned his head toward the sky and pointed upward, kissing his hand at one point. He was taught the game by his father, who has since passed away.
“Yes, the look up to the heavens was absolutely for my Dad,’’ Rose told reporters. “Father’s Day was not lost on me. You don’t have opportunities to really dedicate a win to someone you love and today was about him and being Father’s Day.’’
Once again, Phil Mickelson was left to play the role of a sympathetic figure. For the sixth time, Mickelson was a U.S. Open bridesmaid. He suffered bogeys on three of the final six holes, including 18 where a birdie would have forced a playoff with Rose.
Former Auburn golfer Jason Dufner proved prophetic after he put up a 67 Sunday.
“The last five holes can be really problematic,’’ Dufner said.
Truer words were never spoken.