Monday, June 22, 2015

Chambers Bray

It's Monday morning now, and I'm still waiting. Still waiting for the wail. Still waiting for the fine whine. Still waiting for the shake of the fist, the dip of the head, the woe-is-me cant from Dustin Johnson, the answer to today's Blob question.

Q: Why do they call it the U.S. Open?

A: Because sometime during the playing of it, the ground Opens beneath Dustin Johnson's feet and swallows him.

Once upon a time his ball landed in a bunker that didn't look anything like a bunker (spectators were standing in it, for God's sake), and, because he didn't know it was a bunker and the USGA official standing right there didn't alert him to the fact, he grounded his club. Which cost him two strokes and likely the Open title.

Sunday he had a 12-footer for eagle and the Open title, and he three-putted and lost by a stroke to Jordan Spieth. That sound you heard about 10:15 last night was all of America shrieking, "Oh, no!" when his tiny birdie putt to force a playoff somehow missed the bottom of the cup.

Which is why I'm still waiting.

I'm still waiting for Johnson to unload on the greens at Chambers Bay, the way so many of his fellow golfers did. Apparently the greens were really bad -- in other words, they weren't the usual billiard tables these guys are used to. And so here were Ian Poulter and Billy Horschel last night, crabbing about the fact that, for heaven's sake, it's the U.S. Open, why shouldn't we expect greens you could one-putt with a lawn rake?

"It's just a very disappointing week to be here,'' Horschel told "When you come to a championship tournament, obviously you are going to find out who the best player is, but when you neglect one of the skills or take away one of the skills from a player, and that be putting ... I'm a really good putter and I have not had a great week on the greens.

"And it's not due to the fact that my stroke is off or my speed is off. I've hit a lot of really good putts that have bounced all over the world. So it's just frustrating."

In other words: It's not me. It's the course. The course is why I missed all those putts.

Look. The Blob's on record here about the way the USGA tricks up Open courses so no one can score. It's dumb. It hurts the game. No one tunes in to watch the best players in the world play like muni hackers. They tune in to see the best players in the world take beautiful golf courses out behind the woodshed and cane them like they're Crazy Larry's Adventureland Golf.

So I'm not entirely disposed to dismiss Horschel and Poulter as well-dressed whiners, even though that's what they are. I honestly don't see how normal people can possibly have any fun playing Chambers Bay, a public course, when the U.S. Open champion shot only 5-under for 72 holes.

But somehow Rory McIlroy put up a 66 yesterday. Adam Scott shot 64. Louis Oosthuizen shot 29 on the back nine, an Open record for nine holes. I don't believe any of them did that without making a putt.

So spare me the these-greens-are-a-disgrace noise. As a public course player myself, it makes me laugh out loud. You think Chambers Bay's greens were tough, gentlemen? Try making a putt on a green that looks like it was cut with a pair of gardening shears. I know guys who can. I know guys who, in a putting contest, could probably bring your ass if you ever put 'em on one of the perfectly manicured greens to which pro golfers are accustomed.

If anyone had a right to vent about the greens, it was Johnson. But he said nothing. He simply scooped up his newborn baby and marched off into the sunset. The thing was all set up for him once again, and he blew it. And that didn't happen because of the greens or the gray-sand bunkers or because he has some profound weakness deep in his soul.

It's because golf is a cruel son of a (bleep) that hates you. And you, and you, and you, and, while we're at it, you over there, too.

Sure like to hear someone say that sometime.


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