Had Dustin Johnson converted any number of makeable putts in Sunday’s final round, he probably would have locked up the U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay golf course in University Place, Washington.
Johnson didn’t have a good putting day and given the chance on 18 to Eagle for the win, Johnson missed a 12-foot putt for victory. Johnson then missed the comebacker that would have forced an 18-hole playoff on Monday. The second miss gave Jordan Spieth his second straight major. Spieth birdied his final hole to become the sixth player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year.
Tiger Woods in 2002 was the last player to get the first two legs of the slam.
Chambers Bay took plenty of criticism throughout the four-day tournament. But for all of the complaints about the putting surface and the course itself, the drama it provided over the last three holes was nothing short of fantastic.
Jordan Spieth birdied 16 and took a three-shot lead after Branden Grace double bogeyed the hole. But then, Spieth hit into the fescue-covered mounds to the right of the 17th green and made double bogey.
Back into a tie for the lead entering the 18th hole, Spieth pulled out a birdie and then had to nervously sit and wait, while Johnson played the 18th hole. Johnson took two shots to reach the par-5 18th green, but then 3-putted to give Spieth the win.
Jason Day, who entered the final day tied for the lead, fell back and never was in the hunt for the victory. He closed with a 74 to finish five shots behind Spieth. Day collapsed on Friday with vertigo, only to rally for a share of the 54-hole lead.
Day was already one of the most likeable players on the PGA Tour. Playing through his issues with vertigo made him even more of a favorite from both the players and the fans.
The USGA took considerable abuse as players took to twitter and other social media outlets to discuss their displeasure with the course and the rough putting surface. But what the players don’t like isn’t always what the fans don’t like. The fans like to see the worlds greatest players challenged by difficult conditions and they got that with Chambers Bay.
What the USGA didn’t provide the fans, was an up-close look at the various holes.
As for FoxSports and their first Major, it’s a work in progress. They started out slow, made some improvements throughout and did an OK job.
You either are a fan of Joe Buck or you aren’t. But Buck slowly settled in as the main man on the microphone and did a decent job. The telecast itself had plenty of glitches, but they provided us with conversations between player and caddy and the dropouts you heard came from the technical people, as players may have been cursing on the course.
The interviews were greatly lacking in content and will have to be improved moving forward. I loved listening to Greg Norman. He has been through many of these situations in his career and gave the fans a solid viewpoint.
It is a starting point for Fox, and they’re too big and too good to not make the improvements necessary to provide viewers a quality broadcast.
As for Jordan Spieth, don’t bet against him at the British Open next month. And if Spieth wins there, then he’ll be playing for golf’s Grand Slam at Whistling Straits in August.\
Following are some of my thoughts on the U.S. Open.