Tournament organisers admitted they went "too far" with the set up of Shinnecock Hills after a day of "carnage" in the 118th US Open. Probably not. More important is the fact that Dustin Johnson, the world's top-ranked player and the most explosive golfer on the planet, is in fine position to power his way to his second U.S. Open title.
Dustin Johnson staggered around Shinnecock Hills like a punch-drunk boxer, reeling from one troubled shot to the next to the next. At the 2004 U.S. Open, no player broke par in the final round and produced 335 double bogeys or worse. Anyone who wasn't already a Finau fan had to have been won over by his showing at Augusta, where he wrecked his ankle during a par-3 contest celebration then went on to finish tied for 10th.
Added defending champion Brooks Koepka, the fourth player in the first-place tie: "Let's put it this way".
"I was saying to the guys out there, from yesterday afternoon, I played late, and it was calm and obviously from the rain previous in the day, we were struggling to get putts to the hole yesterday afternoon". Mickelson, who tied his highest-ever score in a U.S. Open with an 81 on Saturday, would not address the question of whether the course was unfair. It's not unusual that we kind of end up in these discussions, where the players and, you know, fans think it's either too hard or fair or whatever.
"I barely made the cut".
Henrik Stenson made one birdie and picked up three shots on the leader. "Going into today, I needed something special to happen to even have an outside chance", Finau said as Johnson and Scott Piercy were making their way down the first fairway in the final group.
Tiger started with a disastrous triple bogey seven on the Par 4 first hole, having overhit his approach and then failing to get the ball onto the putting surface with his first two tries, first a putt that never had enough pace to rise over the massive hill in his way, then a chip shot that belied his recent short game prowess.
And typical of an old-styled U.S. Open, there were plenty of complaints. Visit SportsLine now to see the full U.S. Open projected leaderboard - from the model that's nailed four of the last five majors heading into the weekend a year ago - and find out.
The one saving grace was the fairways were unusually wide for a U.S. open. Sure, 77 isn't exactly good, but he did go out in 41 on the front side and had an 80-something staring him in the face for a while. Graham was 14 shots better on the weekend, firing 68-73 before beating John Mahaffey in an 18-hole playoff. The greens are still holding up except for a few spots. At that time I just didn't feel like going back and forth and hitting the same shot over.
With the two-stroke penalty Mickelson took a sextuple bogey 10.
"I know the rules".
Playing partner Andrew Johnston laughed off the incident as "a moment of madness".
Berger and Finau beat the worst of the conditions, finishing before the leaders had even teed off.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (+6, odds: 52-1): Oh man, what a coup this would be for the Barn Rat!