by Jeff Skinner
1. It was tough watching a veteran like Jim Furyk crash down the stretch. But at least his agent is working for him. He’s got more logos than Tin Cup.
2. Before the Open started Mike Davis said he thought that there would be plenty of putts dropping. These Olympic greens don’t have the extreme contours of many other Open venues. He was right, there were a lot of putts dropped all week.
3. Karma can be fickle. Tiger Woods ballooned to 75 & 73 on the weekend, right after he wouldn’t give his fellow competitor, amateur Beau Hossler any credit for hanging with the big boys after two rounds.
4. Hossler felt the wrath of bad Karma also. All week he said he just wanted to finish as the low amateur but after his Saturday round left him four strokes from the lead he voiced his confidence about being able to win this thing. Bam…he shoots 76 on Sunday and lets Jordan Spieth take low am honors. Karma baby, Karma.
5. Bubba Watson needs to learn that he’s a golf professional and that’s what pays the bills. Yes, he’s a big draw but fame is fleeting. And a Bubba that doesn’t play well and win is just another bag of clubs and a pink driver.
6. The Olympic Club was very impressive and I don’t mean just the world class Lake Course. The history of the athletic club was amazing and the fact that they are so supportive of many local athletes. That’s a model for all clubs to follow.
7. Webb Simpson is a very good, up and coming player. He got it done on Sunday but it always seems like more players lose the Open than actually go out and win it. If G Mac or Furyk shoot one over par they win the damn thing. That’s got to hurt.
8. You know those guys that pack on the scuba gear and retrieve all those golf balls we lose in the lakes and ponds? How about a few of them tying on some spikes and shimmying up those trees at Olympic to find all those balls that go MIA (missing in air). Lee Westwood sure could have used some help.
9. Dennis Miller, Casey Martin, Andy Zhang, Michael Allen and Beau Hossler all gave us something to cheer for all week, no matter what they scored.
10. Props to Jordan Spieth for hanging in there and shooting 69-70 on the weekend to take low am honors. Only Casey Wittenberg and winner Simpson topped that.
11. For a few rounds Tiger Woods had the golf world back at his feet. But a miserable weekend saw him tumble down the leaderboard. Maybe this is the new Tiger: some good days, some bad days, just like everyone else.
12. Mike Davis still gets it right on almost everything he touches. From the layout of the course to the daily setup, to playing MMA fighter with the Birdman he does not miss a trick. And to see him be so open about his job is so refreshing it’s scary.
13. Going into the final round it looked like the former major winners might use their experience to their advantage. But Furyk, McDowell and Els all faltered. Paddy Harrington had it going for a bit but fell short and David Toms has lost his chance on Saturday. Another first time winner of a major. Simpson wins the Open in only his fifth major start, so much for experience.
14. Jim Furyk was warned for slow play at the fifteenth hole but to his credit he never mentioned it having anything to do with that horrid tee ball on sixteen or his late round meltdown. Win or lose he’s always a gentleman.
15. The USGA’s marquee pairings of Phil, Tiger, Bubba and Luke, Rory and Lee while great in theory had one problem: Only Tiger played well, but Lee did make a great comeback.
16. All in all it was a great championship although it seems that if we throw out Congressional and the soft conditions, the U.S. Open Champion is more a survivor than a winner. Great rounds of golf at the Open usually mean par or one under. I am not so sure that setups like this “identify the greatest player” or just decimate the majority of golfers to leave a fortunate survivor.