21-year-old doesn’t let Chambers Bay’s conditions get in his head.
Just ask Dustin Johnson, who three-putted the 18th hole, missing a chance to send the U.S. Open into a playoff with Jordan Spieth, who won the tournament after scoring a birdie on the 18th hole.
It was an exciting U.S. Open at Chambers Bay — one for the ages, really — that literally came down to the last shot. All week there was talk of Chambers Bay’s setup, especially the fescue greens, which several players labeled “bumpy.” You won’t get any lip service from Joe Sixpack over bumpy greens, but you will from PGA professionals. After Friday’s second round, Hendrik Stenson said the greens were like putting on broccoli. Ouch!
Johnson, who missed six putts inside 10 feet on the back nine Sunday, didn’t complain about the bumpy greens, but you could sense his insinuation that they had plenty to do with him losing the tournament. He said the fast and bumpy greens made it tough to get the ball in the hole.
“Whatever the putt did on the last hole … I might have pulled it a little bit,” Johnson said. “But to me, it looked like it bounced left. It’s tough. It’s very difficult. … I tried my damndest to get it in the hole, I just couldn’t do it.”
Meanwhile, Spieth, the 21-year-old phenom, finds himself halfway to golf’s Grand Slam this year with wins in the Masters and now U.S. Open. Spieth shot a 5-under-par 275 for the tournament. He is, perhaps, the most poised athlete in all of sports.
Spieth never seemed to let the bumpy greens get in his head. After his third round on Saturday, Spieth noted that the greens “aren’t what we normally see. They don’t putt like we normally see.”
But instead of complaining about the greens, Spieth embraced his chances of beating the course and winning the tournament.
“I got over it,” Spieth said of the “noise” surrounding the tournament. “The quicker you [do] that and don’t worry about it, the easier it is just to move on with your game.”
Spieth also never forgot what tournament he was in — the U.S. Open. “It’s a grind,” he said.
All U.S. Opens — give or take a few — are set up to make golfers grind. Of course, you could say that this year’s U.S. Open and its unpredictable bumpy greens were really a grind.