Jon Rahm broke through for his first major championship fulfilling the promise of a major- winning career when he joined the Tour five years ago out of Arizona State University. The personable Spaniard is a good friend of fellow ASU alumnus Phil Mickelson who was among the first to congratulate him.
Rahm also achieved another rarity for a US Open winner; he was the pretournament betting favorite at 9 ½ to 1. Second place finisher Louis Oosthuizen was at 50 to 1, the same as my pick Mickelson who had a disappointing weekend to finish 11 over par in in a tie for 62nd place.
Speaking of Lefty, much of the pre-championship media attention was his adding a TaylorMade 300 Mini Driver to his bag of all Callaway clubs. Mickelson said he thought of it as a 2-wood and would be helpful keeping tee shots in the firm and fast fairways. Evidently it was not enough since he finished T-51 in driving accuracy.
Many older guys were pulling for the leader after the first two rounds Englishman Richard Bland who faltered over the weekend, as did many bigger names. The 48-year-old scored 70-67 Thursday-Friday and is obviously not a gym-rat. Bland is however a stalwart on the European Tour where he won for the first time after 20 years and 478 starts at this year’s Betfred British Masters.
Has everyone had enough of the so-called “feud” between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau? One friend had an apt word to describe it, silliness though maybe not as silly as the idiot who dashed onto the 13th fairway Sunday and hit two shots before being run down by security.
Tiger Woods declined the chance to be one of NBC’s talking heads at the scene of his 91-hole victory in the 2008 US Open. Too bad for fans but understandable as he is recovering from his auto accident and has always been guarded in his media exposure except of course after those resulting from behavioral lapses.
NBC did a credible job on the telecast but please, please, please put a Sticky Note in front of the commentators from Dan Hicks and Paul Azinger downwards as a reminder to not tell us what a player is thinking…they don’t know and can’t know so just keep quiet. It is an arrogant insult to the audience saying anything about the thoughts racing through a competitor’s mind.
And in case you missed all the screen time given Mike Davis this was his swan song as CEO Mike Davis of the USGA. Davis is retiring from the job and being replaced by LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan.
Finally, it was refreshing to not have the USGA’s course setup be a topic all week. Torrey Pines Golf Club’s South Course is tough everyday as anyone who plays it can testify.