by Jeff Skinner
1. So Merion was going to be easy? Not so much, just ask those golfers that spent four days humping their way around one tough golf course.
2. Justin Rose is a great story and a classy champion. He praised both Merion and Phil Mickelson during the trophy ceremony.
3. Phil missed so many putts by fractions and just couldn’t put the hammer down when he needed to. This is a really painful one. Six second places…how much can a man take!
4. Amateur Michael Kim finishes T17 and beats a ton of pros on a course that made some of them look silly. Nice, real nice.
5. The USGA has to be thrilled that their “boutique” experiment came off the way it did. The general consensus was that Merion was worthy of an Open. I know Justin Rose thinks so.
6. With all the rain at Merion early on it looked like a formula for disaster but the old girl held her own and by the weekend players were scrambling to make pars on most of the holes.
7. I am not in the habit of agreeing with Curtis Strange but he had it right when he said that having three par 3’s all over 230 yards was a bit too much.
8. The fans were pretty rough on Sergio Garcia. He was subject to heckling everywhere he went. To his credit he played through it and declined to have any of the dirt bags tossed out.
9. Were those “octopus pants” worn by Billy Horschel too much or what? Talk about throwing up on yourself.
10. Mike Davis and crew did a wonderful job at Merion. I spent plenty of time at Merion and thought they were able to pull off their boutique Open with few flaws.
Bonus. The Golf Channel coverage was great and Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee and Frank Noblio once again showed they’re the cream of the crop.
Bonus. I can understand why coming back to Merion was such a quest for the USGA. The combination of the storied history and the remarkable course demands that Merion be put in the public eye more than once every 32 years.
Bonus. Tiger Woods’ streak of missed major championships is a full five years. That has to hurt,,,big time.