Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On Rickie Fowler starting to resemble another guy who took a while to break through:
Rickie Fowler is starting to sound a lot like Phil Mickelson. And that’s probably a good thing.
Fowler once again came up short of a maiden major title, shooting an even-par 72 that dropped him into a tie for fifth. He was in the spotlight seemingly from the very start of the week, when he led after a 65, and after the final round offered what might at first glance seem like a rationalization.
“You have to measure success in different ways, not just by winning, because that doesn’t happen a whole lot,” Fowler said. “I think Tiger had the best winning percentage of all time at 30 percent, and you’re lucky to even sniff close to 10. You have to kind of say, ‘Hey, it’s a major. We played well this week.’”
Fowler will certainly feel the sting of another major miss, just as he did at Hoylake and Valhalla three years ago. But his comments are reminiscent to Mickelson’s mindset after several of his close calls early in his career, when more often than not he focused on the positives and chose to look forward.
Mickelson eventually claimed his long-awaited major, then he added four more. There’s every reason to think that Fowler, still just 28, will get his soon enough. - Will Gray
On the Johnny Miller - Justin Thomas debate of 63s:
Love him or loathe him, Johnny Miller is still 1 up.
Much was made of the polarizing analyst’s remarks Saturday that Justin Thomas’ historic 9-under 63 still paled in comparison to his legendary round at Oakmont in 1973.
Not only did Miller top Thomas in strokes gained against the field – 10.8 to 9 – but he beat the emerging star where it matters most: On the scoreboard.
Miller shot 63 and went on to win. Thomas, of course, did not, after a surprising 75 that ranked as the worst score of anyone in the top 10.
Even if he’s no longer in the record book, Miller has the edge in this ongoing debate. - Ryan Lavner
On Erin Hills identifying the week's best player, despite the record-low scores:
For all the harping about record low scores and a first-time venue that wasn’t everybody’s brand of vodka, Erin Hills proved to be a worthy U.S. Open test.
Forget those ridiculously low scores, a highlight reel that included Justin Thomas’ record round in relation to par on Saturday or Brooks Koepka’s record-tying total in relation to par, and focus instead on the outcome.
On his way to victory, Koepka ranked sixth in driving distance, first in greens in regulation, third in strokes gained: putting and second in birdie percentage. Ultimately, Erin Hills identified this week’s best player and that’s always the most telling judge of a championship course. - Rex Hoggard