Monday, June 20, 2011

U.S. Open Wrap-Up - Bad News for American Golf

Now we know why Tiger's eat their young!

Step aside Tiger, there's a new sheriff in town and his name is Rory McIlroy. After completely unraveling on Sunday at The Master's with a 4 stroke lead after 54 holes, Rors came roaring back at the very next major and totally blew the doors off the competition for a week. He became the first since Woods to win the Open while leading wire-to-wire and posted the lowest ever U.S. Open score. Among the many records he set he also became the youngest Open champ since Bobby Jones in 1923 at the ripe age of 22.

Before the week started I would have figured that the winning score might be somewhere in the -5 to -6 range, with the course playing soft all week due to heavy rains leading up to the tournament. Never in a million years would I believe that -16 would be the winning score. (And actually, if you take out McIlroy I would have been right on the money.) That is an insane performance at the U.S. Open - soft greens or not.

Part of me thinks that because we remember so well what Tiger did just a little over a decade ago at Pebble Beach that Rory isn't really getting his due for this performance. Watching it yesterday, it felt so much more anticlimactic than Woods' performance in 2000.

Nonetheless, he's getting his due here on Dueling Couches. That was a masterpiece unlike any I've witnessed and I'm looking forward seeing many more from him in the years to come.

As for the rest of the field, Jason Day finished in 2nd after a great weekend of play. And Y.E. Yang and Lee Westwood finished in a tie for 3rd along with Robert Garrigus, and Kevin Chappel. Nowhere on the leaderboard were any of the young hotshot Americans that everyone likes to keep talking about.

Dustin Johnson: T23 +1
Anthony Kim: T54 +7
Bubba Watson: T63 +9
Rickie Fowler: Missed Cut +5
Hunter Mahan: Missed Cut +5
Ben Crane: Missed Cut +6
Nick Watney: Missed Cut +6

Disgusting. It's the rest of the world's game right now. Hell, Northern Ireland has produced the last two U.S. Open champions. The group of young American golfers mentioned above haven't done anything to warrant all the attention that they get. Between them they have a combined 17 wins on tour, but no majors - though Watson and Johnson have both been close. Kim admittedly needs to focus more on golf and Fowler seems more concerned about being a fashion icon than winning tournaments.

I realize I'm being harsh, and that winning on tour is not an easy thing for any golfer, especially with how much competition there is now. However, I know these guys have tons of game and I'm just getting sick of hearing about how this could be their big break. Enough with the Twitter and youtube. I want to see some damn trophies! Tiger spoiled us all for a long time, and that reign looks to be all but assuredly over. The world team is full of good young golfers who actually WIN tournaments and don't worry about making stupid online music videos. One of those losers made the cut this week - and he finished plus 9. Nice.

Time to put up or shut up for these guys. Only Fowler can even still be considered young. The others are in their 30s or close to it.

That's it from the golf world for now. Check back as we get closer to the British Open from Royal St. George's - a fantastic course.

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