Greetings from 33,000 feet, the day after the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst’s #2 course came to a conclusion. While flying to the next Hooked on Golf Blog World Tour stop I’m attempting to write on my Google Nexus 7 tablet, which is working okay, albeit a bit slow and clunky on the typing end. Can’t use my laptop. Not enough room as Delta has cut down on space. No I’m not in first class. I’m on a golf blogger budget. I apologize in advance for typos and autocorrect errors.
Below are a few comments on this year’s U.S. Open, the players and the venue.
This is the first major championship other than the Masters where the golf course may have been the biggest star. This Donald Ross design had recently been restored by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. Gone was the rough and in its place was native sand with small grass clumps and bushes. The edges were much more rugged and purposefully unkept. The ground was hard and brown, like Scottish links courses.
In short it was a beautiful example of modern minimalist golf design. I especially liked seeing puffs of dust when players would hit from the fairway. That is real golf folks. Not the over-watered, overly-green salad bars most of american golf courses have become. Easy on the ranch dressing please.
Barring the scoring of the winner, German golfer Martin Kaymer, I think the United States Golf Association’s setup produced what they wanted, a couple of players at or just below par.
Raise your hand if you thought Martin Kaymer would win. If you thought he would lap the field, quit your day job and go into sports betting or perhaps fortune telling.
After starting the tournament with two five-under 65′s, Kaymer was untouchable. He would have had to melt down in Normanesque fashion for anyone else to have a chance. That didn’t happen.
Kaymer looked to be playing a different course than the rest of the field. The German golfer was flying down the autobahn in a Porsche 911 while the rest of the field was driving a 1993 Buick on Louisiana State Road 85.
Final winning margin: seven strokes.
Kaymer now has two majors (2011 PGA Championship) and THE PLAYERS (always write that in ALL CAPS, that’s what they do) Championship win earlier this year.
With Tiger Woods out of the tournament while still recovering from back surgery, Phil Mickelson was star the ever-predictable golf media glommed onto. I think many golf scribes already had their stories written for when Phil won the U.S. Open and completed the career grand slam. That didn’t happen.
Rory McIlroy was the Las Vegas odds favorite to win. He did play some solid Open golf, but like most of the field could not get close enough to threaten. He was on the dance floor but could not hear the band.
Better known for his apparel than his golf game, Rickie Fowler might have claimed a major championship if Kaymer was not in the field. The golfer/traffic cone gained respectability tying for 2nd place. His Sunday orange outfit was subdued compared to the usual “traffic cone” look. This orange and white combo had more of a cream sickle look. Fortunately the cream sickle didn’t melt. That could have been messy.
Mentioned about 45.2 billion times in the broadcast was the story of Eric Compton. What a story, having reached a tie for 2nd place having undergone TWO heart transplants.
The guy has a lot of heart. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.
Interesting to note who missed the cut. Some very big names failed to make the weekend including Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Jason Dufner, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, and El Gato (Angel Cabrera). Luke Donald can only be described as a major disappointment.