If the U.S.Open were to have such a ritual, it would be only fitting that Jordan Spieth’s repast before next year’s event would feature broccoli.
Since that’s the clever but derogatory descriptor most mentioned by this year’s Open participants, when describing the nature of the bumpy, multi-hued “greens” of Chambers Bay.
It was a lovely but most quirky venue indeed.
In the end though, carping legit or otherwise notwithstanding, the course was not the story.
Neither was Dustin Johnson’s choke job on the 72d. Though he had a makeable eagle putt for the W, and an even easier “gimme” for birdie and a spot in a playoff, neither of which he drained.
That he gagged wasn’t a surprise, given his demeanor walking the fairway to the site of his ill fate. It was not a stride of confidence. When Jason Day inquired of Johnson, whether he should putt out or not, the runner up’s response was befuddled, lacking conviction and confidence.
Unlike Jordan Spieth, who confirmed, yet again, that maturity is as important in the endeavor of golf, as in any major sport.
Of course, Spieth is too young to qualify for the Blade of the Week Club. That’s only a chronological delineation. On the links, the Masters now Open champ is an old soul.
When he somehow found himself up 3 shots with but two holes to conquer, after negotiating the broccoli for a birdie on 16, he pumped his fist and exhorted, providing some evidence that beneath his eerily calm demeanor lies a real human being with the capacity to feel emotions.
But, he soon enough gritted his teeth, forging ahead to the 17th tee. Where he hit the worst shot of his short career, scrambled for a double bogey, and relinquished the entirety of his advantage, heading to the last.
Where, settled down, devoid of panic — Read; mature — he birdied, going a stroke up. Then, he awaited Johnson’s finish to see if he’d lost, tied or won.
We know what happened then.
And, now, with the prospect of a golfing Grand Slam still in play with the British Open teeing off in less than a fortnight, the sports world is agog at the prospect.
We haven’t seen anything like this, since . . . oh . . . two weeks ago, when American Pharoah entered the starting gate at Belmont Park with a Triple Crown on the line.
— Seedy K