Tiger Woods, for one, can look forward to wider fairways, no rough and more familiar greens when defending his Masters title in a couple of months. Woods has recently been paying the price for too many errant tee shots, shot 73 and 77 and missed the U.S Open cut for the second time at Winged Foot by four shots.
At least Woods made birdies at two of the last three holes and finished on 10 over and three ahead of long-time rival Phil Mickelson. But it is a small consolation and it seems the days of remarkable, unusual recoveries from wild drives are long gone.
"It's frustrating that I'm not going to be here for the weekend and be able to compete for this great championship," he said. "It feels like the way the golf course is changing, is turning, that anybody who makes the cut has the opportunity to win this championship.
I didn't get myself that opportunity." He can definitely still be a factor at Augusta National and most Open Championship venues for quite some time to come if his health allows it. But just like Mickelson, it seems the punishing US Open layouts are taking its toll and might influence Woods’ return to Torrey Pines next year, despite winning there eight times, including his last U.S Open win in 2008.
Rory McIlroy fizzled out early in the final round
Rory McIlroy’s long wait for a fifth major continues after fizzling out early in the final round of the U.S Open. However, McIlroy may already be shifting his focus to 2021 after a lean run of results post-lockdown.
By his own admission, the thirty-one-year-old has struggled more than most to adapt to golf without spectators. About Bryson DeChambeau’s spectacular win, McIlroy said “No chance. No chance,” McIlroy said.
“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a U.S. Open champion does. Look, he’s found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know, but it’s just—it’s not the way I saw this golf course being played or this tournament being played.
It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it”. “I thought I can see it for week in and week out, PGA Tour setups that are a little more benign … but I sort of said, ‘OK, wait until he gets to a proper golf course, he’ll have to rein it back in.’ This is as proper as they come, and look what’s happened.
Yeah, he’s got full belief in what he’s doing, and it’s pretty impressive”. “So I think … about the guy, I think it’s brilliant, but I think he’s taken advantage of where the game is at the minute,” McIlroy said.
“Look, again, whether that’s good or bad, but it’s just the way it is. With the way he approaches it, with the arm-lock putting, with everything, it’s just where the game’s at right now. “I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. He’s just taking advantage of what we have right now”.