The 2015 U.S. Open was all over the map as far as major tournaments go, so let’s make some sense of everything and grade out the main components.
Sunday Theater (Grade: A minus). I watched hours of action each day, but always look forward to the Sunday finishes of major tournaments, and this did not disappoint. Unlike the snoozer at the last two Masters, the back nine on Sunday was awesome. From Spieth and Johnson’s struggles with pressure, to the mini charges by McIlroy and Oosthuizen, and the courageous effort of Jason Day to stand upright and compete, the story lines were riveting. Gets an A plus except for the balloon-popping 3-putt finish by Johnson. Even Spieth seemed deflated, albeit momentarily. What a horrible way to lose.
Fox Broadcast Team (Grade: C). Way too many four man talking head panels. Reminiscent of their NFL pregame show and halftime updates. Where was Terry and Jimmy? Would have also preferred fewer human interest stories and more live golf. Were they practicing for the Olympics? Joe Buck was okay as the top guy and Greg Norman had some good insights, although the attempt to describe the details of Day’s medical condition didn’t go well. The post game debrief sessions with Holly Sonders were short, to the point, and well done.
Chambers Bay Golf Course (Grade: D plus). Failed the standard of providing a full mental and physical test for the hardest tournament in the world. Too quirky and too many bad bounces for good shots, but at the end of the day, even-par turned out to be a good score. The greens, the greens, the greens. . .ad nauseam. Thank goodness we’re going back to Oakmont next year.
U.S.G.A. (Grade: C minus). These guys took a risk with Chambers Bay and flopped. That’s two years in a row of questionable layouts for our nation’s championship. This was by far more controversial than the Pinehurst #2 redesign, but to their credit, they saved the Sunday round with accessible pin placements and didn’t make a mockery of the event. Yes, it was an easier layout. Look no further than Adam Scott’s final round 64 and Oosthuizen’s 29 on the inward half as proof. The stuffed shirts WERE feeling the heat from the media and players, no matter what you hear/believe from Mike Davis, USGA Executive Director.
Player’s professionalism (Grade: B minus). A lot of whining about the greens, mostly from players who couldn’t putt them, like Sergio and Billy Horschel. Joe Buck tried to set up Jordan Spieth, at the trophy ceremony, to take a shot at the course but J.S. wouldn’t bite. Great job praising the Seattle area fans and leaving the course out of it. Spieth is truly an awesome champion and exemplifies everything that is right about the game today.
What’s your grade for the U.S. Open?