2018 US Open: A Look Back at Shinnecock Hills
The 2018 US Open, the PGA Tour’s second major was exactly like it was supposed to be, tough. Shinnecock was tough. The USGA made it tough. Thus, the players felt it. The course was already tough, however, the wind played a factor all week. Many of players were concerned about how the course was set up. The players made preparations to play on a course like this. They were not ready for Shinnecock.
The first round began with most of the top players in the world with a chance to win the US Open. Unlike last year at Erin Hills, Shinnecock was not going to give the so-called birdie fest that happened a year ago. Top tour veterans Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods both struggled. Now, they did shoot better than Scott Gregory who opened with a 92. One of the worst rounds in US Open in some 20 years. Dustin Johnson, the world’s number 1 player, shined in the first round. He was one of four players to finish under par in the first round.
In the second round, you could say it was chapter 2 of the tough US Open. Many top players were hoping to make the cut. Many of them missed it including Woods and Rory McIlroy. Both players said the course was set up too hard for professionals. Now, Mickelson made the cut by one shot and was trying to complete the career grand slam. Rickie Fowler who I picked to win the open finished his second round 6 shots back. Defending champion Brooks Koepka finished 5 shots out of the lead after round 2.
The third round had its drama as much as the first two. Zach Johnson one of the top players who has won majors in the past in a post-round interview said: “The USGA has lost the course”. Himself and many of the other players said the green speed was too fast. Mickelson would shoot 81. His worst Open round ever in his career. The 81 contained a 10 on 13 when he took a two-stroke penalty for hitting his ball while it was still moving on the green. He would answer many questions after the round about it. The final group was Dustin Johnson and Scott Piercy. One went one way the other went the other way. Johnson took the lead but struggled. He would have is first three-putt and a double bogey. Koepka stayed in contention. The course after round 3 gave up 362 double bogeys or worse.
The final round began with many players with a chance to chase the leaders. My pick started off well. Fowler would finish at the time with the best round of the week shooting a 65 playing alongside Mickelson. Mickelson had his best round of the week, In fact, he celebrated on 13 by making a par. His celebration was like he had won the tournament. Mickelson’s wife said that he offered to withdraw after what happened in round three.
The round of the day belonged to Tommy Fleetwood. He shot a 63 tying the record for a low round at the US Open. When he finished he was two shots back of the lead and relaxed to see how it was going to shape out. Johnson would shoot an even-par 70 but he would not win. Koepka would shoot a final round 68 and the pressure of winning he felt last year. He would make a par at the last hole and become the 7th back to back winner in US Open history.
Did your favorite player win the US Open or was the course too hard? Leave a comment below.
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