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What we learned: On the verge of the 112th U.S. Open

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Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent events and news developments. This week we learned about Dustin Johnson's complete recovery from injury and Shanshan Feng's historic major triumph.


I learned that neither Dustin Johnson nor  Lee Westwood will win his first major championship next week at the U.S. Open. No player has ever won the Memphis PGA Tour stop, then hoisted the U.S. Open trophy the next week. No reason to think it'll happen this year for the first time.

Westwood chased appearance fee money in Sweden at the Nordea Masters and easily won against a weak field, but it has to take a toll on him. He'd have been better served to play Memphis and deal with an easier flight to California afterward.

I'd assume that Rory McIlroy is just fine with making double bogey on the final hole in Memphis, when birdie ultimately would've landed him in a playoff with DJ. It was more important that McIlroy find form and confidence again than it was for him to win. He has a chance to win the U.S. Open; DJ and Westwood do not. – Jay Coffin


I learned that Lee Westwood can't pass up free money, even if he hampers his chances to win a major. There is no reason for the world No. 3 to play in Sweden the week before the U.S. Open except greed. I know he's a UPS guy, but he won the FedEx two years ago and it's a much easier flight to San Francisco from Memphis. Guess Westwood isn't as concerned as Phil Mickelson with fatigue. – Mercer Baggs


I learned that tape delayed telecasts make golf fans angrier than Pat Perez after a cold-topped tee shot.

In a previous era, if tee times for an event were adjusted due to weather, those who wanted to watch the results unfold were still in the clear – as long as the broadcast aired before the Monday morning paper hit the front stoop. Today, though, you can’t discreetly check a Twitter feed without knowing what flavor gum Tiger Woods is chewing at the current moment.

Showing full coverage of the final round beats no coverage at all – but only barely. There needs to be a better backup plan in place, whether that means live streaming video on the PGA Tour’s website or an alternate television network which is contractually obligated to host such programming anytime there is a need.

Tape-delayed coverage is sports television’s equivalent to 'Happy Days' reruns. Only problem is, even The Fonz would never give it two thumbs up. – Jason Sobel


If anyone is going to challenge Yani Tseng’s giant lead in the Rolex World Rankings, Stacy Lewis is the player most fit to do it.

Lewis stared Tseng down to win the Kraft Nabisco in a head-to-head final-round matchup last year. Lewis is hot and full of confidence. She has two victories and now a tie for second in her last three stroke-play events, and she's projected to move to No. 2 in the world on Monday.

Tseng never looked more vulnerable than she did following Sunday’s final round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship. She conceded she has “zero confidence” right now and needs to get it back. What Tseng does have is a monster lead in the world rankings. She also has monster talent and a positive attitude. There’s no reason to think she won’t rebound quickly this summer. Lewis, though, seems intent in applying pressure as she chips away at Tseng's lead. – Randall Mell


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