US Open 2013 Thoughts

A few random thoughts on the 2013 US Open. More as I think of them:

  • Congratulations to Justin Rose. He did what he had to do to win a US Open. Play for par and hang on. Rose is a worthy champion.

  • Another Major, another first time champion. This speaks to the depth of talent in professional golf right now.

  • The real story of the week may have been Merion itself. Golf pundits were predicting embarrassingly low scores. Modern players would kill the old girl. Records would fall. Not so much. The USGA tricked the thing up to prevent par from being threatened.

  • I loved the wild and natural look of Merion. The irregular contours of bunkers; the tall clumped natural grasses; the quarry; the brook—all created natural challenges and visual interest. I’d love to see more courses that look like this.

  • I wasn’t as happy with the setup as I was with the look. The television announcers kept saying things like “no one has made a birdie on this par four in three rounds.” How is it that the best players in the world can’t birdie a par 4? The USGA has to remember that they are trying to identify the best player, not the hardest course. I think you can identify the best player without setting up a par 3 that requires a driver.

  • I don’t think we know at this point whether Merion

  • Golf pundits also were nearly unanimous in declaring Tiger the winner. I don’t recall hearing Rose’s name at any point.

  • So much for the professional pundits.

  • Poor Phil. Six times a bridesmaid and never the bride.

  • McIlroy is looking like a real flash-in-the-pan at this point. The immaturity he displayed when he bent his club was astonishing.

  • Whatever happened to Zane Scotland?

  • Another Major without a Tiger win. Several years back, after the 2009 PGA, I wrote that YE Yang had destroyed Tiger’s mojo. That November, when The Troubles began, I wondered if Tiger would ever win another Major. I was being hyperbolic, but at this point, Tiger is five years older without another Major in his pocket.

  • Phil Mickelson’s game is pretty sharp right now. I lost track of how many putts missed by a rotation. If just half those had fallen, he wins running away. I think Phil is a good bet to contend in this year’s Open Championship. It would be a supreme irony for him to finish his career with three quarters of a career slam, with the US Open being the missing link.

  • Sean Foley has a student who is a Major Champion.

  • A belly putter didn’t win.

  • The USGA reportedly lost $10 million on this year’s tournament. How can a “non-profit” afford to lose $10 million on anything? I don’t see how a responsible Board of Trustees could have allowed this. The event should be making money and those profits should be used “for the good of the game.”

  • 3 thoughts on “US Open 2013 Thoughts”

    1. Every pundit who blathered on about Tiger being the favorite and how Merion would be double digit below par scores need to have to wear a dunce hat while they cover the next two majors.  They couldn’t have been more wrong. 

      So Tiger hurt his elbow during the Players, thus explaining his Memorial performance, and the loss at Merion.  So on a hurt elbow, he won the Players, and lost the next two times out over the next two months from the hurt elbow – which had no mention until the second round of the US Open.  Seems like another story Tiger is making up – but if he said it happened on that second shot (which is the first time anyone saw evidence of it) – then he can’t blame Memorial on it. 

      Sorry for Phil, but he is suffering a similar block on US Opens as Tiger is on majors and trying to get to 19.  No doubt this wore on him over the 72 holes, but his gameplan on Sunday was more off from just fatigue.  It would be ironic if he wins the Open.  I don’t know if I would say he is the favorite though, his peaks are not that long, and his valleys are pretty wide.  I doubt he is still peaking in a month.

    2. Two who predicted Tiger from Sports Illustrated: Michael Bamberger and Alan Shipnuck. I should document the others, too.

      I’ve been in the press room at a couple of big-time golf events, and I must say that I was never impressed by the golf media. From what I could tell, none of them ever left the press tent.

      I think the Tiger elbow thing is the kind of excuse I hear from the teenagers in my class. If his elbow was seriously hurt, he should be resting it, not playing a US Open where the rough is brutal and likely to exacerbate the problem.

      His real problem is what has been plaguing him for five years: putting. Those miracle putts are not falling any more. He’s not sinking the double bend forty footers that used to crush the souls of his opponents. I think he’s winning at the familiar tracks again because he knows exactly what those greens will do.

    3. It was good to see another first time winner of a major in Justin Rose. Just like it was great to see Adam Scott win the US Masters this was tremendous for Justin Rose.

      He’s promised so much since the early part of the century and it’s great to see him finally break through for a big one.


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