So that’s the 114th edition of the US Open Championship in the history books and, well to be quite frank, it was a bit of an anti-climax. I am only saying that because after day two, the tournament was essentially done. What was amazing to see, especially from a European point of view in a Ryder Cup year, was just how well Martin Kaymer handled the challenge of the Pinehurst No. 2 course.
The course set-up had been a fairly severe change of direction by the USGA and I have to say was one I really liked. As mentioned in my article last week, they removed the dense rough that usually features heavily in US Opens and replaced it with areas of ‘native grasses’. On day one and two the course was quite soft after storms on both of the previous evenings, on the final two days the players weren’t afforded this luxury and greens were hard pan. Sometimes the greens were a bit unfair though, Henrik Stenson hit a putt on the 309-yard 13th hole on the final day having knocked his tee shot to around 25-feet. His eagle putt ran past the hole and on normal greens may have settled around six or seven feet from the cup, not this weekend though. Stenson’s ball refused to stop, it rolled and rolled and rolled finally settling down around 35-yards from the green! Cue one unimpressed Swede.
What we saw from Kaymer this week was an exhibition in how to destroy a field and emphatically win a tournament. Butch Harmon likened this display to the classic Tiger Woods performance and it certainly had that feeling about it. He set a 36-hole US Open record. He shot 65 on day one when no one thought that was really possible. Just to hammer it home he shot a 65 on day two. Then he put the afterburners on and cruised to victory with sensible golf. What a stellar performance!
The European Tour heads to one of it’s favourite stops this week, the Irish Open. This tournament has been incredible in recent years and has sold-out of tickets before the event every year for the last few. It will be held at the Fota Island Resort in near Cork and has brought in some big European Tour stars. I am expecting a good outing from Graeme McDowell this week, I feel he has a big finish in him soon. Of course Rory had a big win at his last outing in Europe so he’ll be on a high too.
So that’s major number two in the history books for the 2014 season. Next stop on the major calendar: The Open Championship.
Photo Credit: cbssports.com