Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.
Justin Rose: One of the game’s preeminent ball-strikers was rewarded on a day when crisp, precise shots were at a premium. Here’s hoping there are more majors in the future for one of golf’s good dudes.
J-Day: He has top 3s in the first two majors of the year, just like in ’11. So with four finishes of third or better in only 11 career majors, it’s safe to assume this 25-year-old Aussie’s time is coming. Soon.
Merion: The East Course returned to the championship stage, and it proved once again that courses don’t need to be 7,600-plus yards to punch you in the gut, repeatedly.
Travelers: A surprisingly strong field – J-Rose, Westy, Keegan, Duf, Poults, Bubba, Webb, Mahan, Rickie, among others – apparently couldn’t resist the charm of TPC Highlands, one of the year’s most underrated venues, even after going 12 bloody rounds (OK, four) at Merion.
Phil: Extending his own record to six Open runners-up still seems too cruel a fate for Lefty, whose two misfires with a wedge down the stretch will haunt him for years, if not forever.
The world order: Five of the top 7 players in the world rankings (Tiger, Rory, Scott, Kooch, Sneds) were a combined 64 over par at the year’s second major. Just like we expected.
Slow play: The USGA’s new PSA (“While We’re Young!”) seemed promising … until a day later when players took 5 1/2 hours to play 18 holes at the very tournament run by the blue blazers. New slogan idea: Do as I say, not as I do.
Logistical convenience: As a championship test, Merion proved a worthy host. As a U.S. Open site, not so much. Long shuttle rides, temporary clubhouses and locker rooms, interview areas in neighbors’ backyards, 15,000 fewer fans. Indeed, it could be a while before Merion is awarded another Open.