The 5 Most Discouraging U.S. Open Performances

Rory McIlroy came into Oakmont as one of the heavy favorites. His up and (mostly) down performance was one of the most discouraging at the U.S. Open. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

They are among the ones who should be especially discouraged by their performance at Oakmont.

1. Phil Mickelson

Result: CUT (+7)

Lefty’s latest attempt in his quest to win the U.S. Open, and achieve the last leg of the Career Grand Slam fell short yet again, although it was much less dramatic than it has been many years. Mickelson avoided weekend drama by bogeying his last two holes on Friday, and missing the cut by a single stroke.

The improved form he has shown this season (five Top-5 finishes already) would strongly suggest that Phil still has some quality golf left in him. However, he also turned 46 on Thursday, and only has two years left where he could win the U.S. Open without being the oldest major winner ever, leaving questions about how many more realistic chances he will have.

Phil Mickelson struggled in all facets of his game at Oakmont. File Photo: AP

Phil was in his Friday all-black, but it wasn’t enough to play the weekend.

2. Rory McIlroy

Result: CUT (+8)

Early in round 2, it looked like we were in the midst of another quintessential Rory tournament. He had a poor first round, and then suddenly, he was -4 through seven holes and creeping back onto the leaderboards. Unfortunately for Rory, one bogey and two doubles on the back nine (with nothing better than a par) led to a weekend off.

It was the same story we have been seeing from him recently: when he is on, he is nearly unstoppable, but he can’t seem to put four rounds together.

Now, with Dustin Johnson passing him for the world #3, it is difficult to tell exactly where he sits among the game’s elite.

Is he still a member of the “Big 3”? Is it a Big 4 now?

3. Jordan Spieth

Result: T37 (+9)

Going into the final round, Spieth told reporters that he needed to go out and Johnny Miller the course to have a chance. He then went out and shot a 75, 12 strokes short of Miller’s record.

Much more was expected of the defending champion than four rounds of par or worse. If he doesn’t want to hear any more questions about The Masters, his performance in the U.S. Open won’t help.

4. Lee Westwood

Result: T32 (+10)
Westwood, the man with NINE top-3 finishes in majors and zero major victories, let another one slip by as a front-nine bogey binge left him well short again. On the bright side, he seems to be a great influence on other golfers, as both of his Sunday major partners have gone to win the tournament.

There might be a little sarcasm in this one.

5. Soren Hansen

Result: CUT (+23)

Going 79-84 in a major has to be humiliating enough, but the 42-year-old Dane had one of the most gut-wrenching statistics I have ever seen in a tournament. In round one, his average driving distance was an inexplicable 233 yards, which was 25 fewer yards than the next lowest golfer. On top of that, he was STILL below the field average in driving accuracy.

There are bad driving days, and then there’s Soren Hansen in the first round. Not much was expected from him, as he has been a missed cut machine in Europe this year, but those stats are still inexcusable for a professional golfer.


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