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 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.
Rory McIlroy (+8) double-bogeys final hole to miss the cut at U.S. Open, his 1st missed cut at a major since 2013. pic.twitter.com/ZKkS3yO5Cc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 18, 2016
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.
Jordan Spieth just made triple bogey on the 6th hole (4 putts). It’s his 2nd career triple bogey or worse in a major pic.twitter.com/ABn1CMfZtr
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 19, 2016
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.
YES! I'm still on for the playing in the last round with the winner of every major this year slam!!! #welldoneDJ
— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) June 20, 2016
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.
Soren Hansen is a pro golfer and this is what his scorecard looks like. #USOpen is no joke https://t.co/00cFUneQpx pic.twitter.com/nvbnlpr9u5
— LowRound (@LowRoundco) June 18, 2016