The Golden Season of Classic Sports: U.S.Open 2018
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Saturday was “moving day” at the U.S. Open, but most of the moving was backwards, not forward. Dustin Johnson dropped from a four stroke lead into a tie with three other golfers (Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, Brooks Koepka); Phil Mickelson had a moment on the greens (he also went 11 over par for the day, currently is at +15 ), Ian Poulter who started the day at +1 ended it at seven over par and, understandably frustrated, trash-talked the USGA for the course setup and the conduct of the fans (they cheered when he hit bad shots–maybe a sign of how much Poulter has gotten under their skins during his bi-annual Ryder Cup appearances, where he has blistered the U.S. in match play).
So–Saturday was brutal. The USGA has said they will try to “soften” up the greens a bit, to enable shots that hit the green to stay there but the personality of this U.S.Open is already set, and last day course setup changes are not going to alter the way the fans view the 2018 event. It’s been wild, very hard, excruciatingly difficult, nuts, zany, unpredictable and–for the casual golf fan–a lot of fun to watch.
Not so much fun for the guys who play golf for a living but..since when is it the job of the tournament organizers–especially at one of the four times a year “majors”– to make it easy on the players? Just play, please, and STFU. OK, you’re going to shoot high–the key to winning is control, and not shooting higher than anyone else. If you’re one of the very lucky few who’s living the dream out on the tour, don’t complain when you hit a nightmare once in a while. Goes with dreamland.
Fox’s coverage of the tournament has been improved, but they still haven’t brought their A game to golf. One of their touted improvements–a ball flight tracker (Trackman) on every hole did not materialize in the first three days. It wasn’t even present on each shot from a threesome on the tee. More work to do there and the commentators, while professional, are not yet inspired. Jim Nance is a tough act to follow.
The tournament ends today and who knows what crazy things will happen today. One thing’s for sure–this tournament is not a walkover like last year’s minus 16 strokes win by Koepka. The golfer with the ability to play to what the course requires vs. what he likes to do is going to be the one who wins.
Stay tuned. All the information on how to do that is below. And Happy Father’s Day.
New York Times Coverage
Washington Post Coverage
SportsNation Coverage of US Open
How to Watch The US Open
US Open Radio
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