Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #34
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I was right about Jon Rahm not being able to control his temper at the U.S. Open but I was wrong about him having a chance to win the tournament. In fact, Jon Rahm is the new U.S. Open champion, and the first Spaniard to win our national tournament. That’s three major tournaments down and one to go. Let’s recap.
Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese player to win the masters in April. Then Phil Mickelson became the first senior to win a major on the PGA Tour when he captured the PGA Championship in May and now another first. Does that mean someone is going to break the record for being the youngest player to win the British Open? Not likely. That record may stand forever. It belongs to young Tom Morris, who was just 17 when he won in 1868. And now for a little fact-checking prior to this last weekend’s U.S. Open.
I predicted the scores would be lower than normal at a national championship. Rahm finished 6 under. The magic winning score used to be even par, but taking a look at the last five years, his winning score was actually higher than usual. -16 was the winning score in 2017. One over was good enough in 2018. -13 took first in 2019, and the defending champion, Bryson DeChambeau fired a -6 last year. That’s a -8 average. I also predicted Rory McIlroy would win the 2021 U.S. Open. He finished tied for 7th at -1. He was in the hunt after shooting 67 on Saturday but ballooned to a 73 in the final round. Xander Schauffele was consistently average also tying for 7th. Collin Morikawa finished tied for 4th after he dug himself into a hole after a first round 75. He tied with Brooks Koepka. And sweet swinging Louis Oosthuizen finished 2nd the same as he did in the last major, the PGA Championship. That makes me think he has a good chance of winning overseas next month in the Open Championship. Kudos to Jon Rahm. With a 67 in the final round of the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines when the average final round score was 75, was quite an accomplishment. He also tied for medalist on Sunday. The only other people to shoot that good were Brandon Grace and Patrick Reed.
I’ll have a tip for you next week. Hit ’em straight!