Young, inspired margin is carrying an easy time during a US Open

The red soaking opposite a scoreboard here during Erin Hills is a heart of a U.S. Open bleeding, pouring out a pain during a repairs that record-breaking Justin Thomas (9-under 63), contest personality Brian Harman (12 under) and scalding-hot Patrick Reed (7-under 65) are inflicting on a dear ancient symbol: par.

Golf fans who, usually once a year, set aside 4 U.S. Open days to sing a praises of golf suffering, adjacent on sports sadism, competence also be in a doldrums. What would Ben Hogan say? The best in a universe have missed a cut here while a rest of a lads who customarily develop during weekly events are torching history.

Of course, a century of pang golfers competence be shouting their knickers off, thinking, “It’s about time.” Also, millions will watch a 13-player jam-up on Sunday for a pristine — U.S. Golf Association cover your ears — birdie-binge “fun” of it. It’s unfit to encumber this poetic disaster of a personality board.

Until 1992, no actor had reached 10 underneath standard in a U.S. Open, not even for a separate second. Not Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. Then Gil Morgan did it during Pebble Beach. He crashed instantly, as if a Open rose to disparage him for impertinence. He finished with a 77 and muttered, “Well, that was a disaster.”

For a initial 116 years, that word tangible a U.S. Open: disaster. Wonderful, psychologically illuminating, schadenfreude-packed disaster. In all that time, usually dual group ever finished during 10 underneath or improved — Tiger Woods (-12 in 2000) and Rory McIlroy (-16 in 2010). Then came this Saturday, after a night of rain, when tradition was shattered.

Here during this soft, receptive, birdie sky of a course, a tip 5 scores demeanour like a hallucination: -12, -11, -11, -11 and -10. If those players simply fire standard Sunday, and soothing conditions seem expected again, that obliterates a total par-smashing of each U.S. Open given 1895.

In addition, 8 other players could strech 10 underneath with a 69 on Sunday. Consider: 18 of 68 players pennyless 70 on Saturday.

On Wednesday, we competence have gotten contingency of 1,000,000-to-1 on that during any U.S. Open, generally given this is a longest course, during 7,741 yards, that has ever hosted a major. But that’s a possibility we take when we play a Open on an untested, 11-year-old march with 60-yard-wide fairways, which, with complicated rains, is unexpected defenseless.

U.S. Open annals were broken. Which ones? Pick one. Most players with grins on their faces. Fewest crushed clubs. Least fussy (field).

In fact, “fun” is accurately a word Thomas used to report a initial 9-under-par turn in U.S. Open history, circumference Johnny Miller’s 8-under-par 63 in 1973 during Oakmont. Okay, yes, Oakmont, maybe a somewhat sterner test, like maybe two-a-side. On a shutting holes, Thomas pronounced he was indeed “thinking ‘62’ — for a all-time vital record.”

To finish a day’s thesis of the-only-good-excess-is-wretched-excess, Thomas finished his 63 with a 299-yard 3-wood shot to set adult a seven-foot eagle putt on a 18th hole to mangle a record.

Since Thomas, usually 24, has already won 3 PGA events this deteriorate and also became a youngest male ever to fire a 59 on Tour, he is a suitable figure for such an prominent record. Thomas also has a clarity of a chronological stupidity of a scores being shot here, even as he recognizes that this whole eagles-at-the-Open stage is an overwhelming kick-in-the-pants shootout.

“The U.S. Open is ostensible to be unequivocally uncomfortable,” he said. “It’s famous for creation we kind of hatred yourself and hatred golf and usually unequivocally onslaught out there. we don’t meant that in a bad way. It’s usually [a opposite kind of] fun — we [only] have one eventuality a year [like that].”

This year, during least, there will be none. The Open personality house looks like many a PGA Tour eventuality — like, for example, a standard summer stop in Washington, with no actor in this event’s tip 16 owning a vital title. Once more, Erin Hills deserted proven mass like a bad skin graft; after already disposing of a Nos. 1-3 players in a world, who didn’t make a cut, Erin Hills gave No. 5, Jordan Spieth, a behind of a fescue for a 76, a third-worst measure of a day.

Despite this, they’ll still print someone’s name on a U.S. Open trophy, forever, and it competence be Tommy Fleetwood (-11), or any of a rope behind him, including Ricky Fowler, dual shots out of a lead or, who knows, Xander Schauffele, Lindsey Buckingham or Stevie Nicks.

Let them contend what they will. Let Fox, that paid $1 billion for U.S. Open broadcasting rights, pull a product, though what Erin Hills has wrought is not simply modernizing or fine-tuning what was best about a aged imperishable mettle-testing Open. This is an spirit crisis.

Part of a notice problem is that Erin Hills plays to a standard of 72 and has 4 par-5s that assist scoring. Most Open courses are standard 70 or 71. But when those par-5s normal 611 yards, that’s not most of a gift.

“When we give us soothing greens, good greens and not most wind, there are going to be some good scores,” Thomas said.

The issue, that this eventuality competence move into focus, is that for generations, a biggest tournaments had graphic identities and tested opposite earthy and psychological ability sets. The Masters demanded length, imagination and a ability to cope with impossibly quick undulating greens. The British Open was strand links golf with breeze that would leave we bald. The PGA Championship was a harder chronicle of a PGA Tour event, though with redemption of impiety in a heart.

Now, a U.S. Opens of new years have featured treeless courses with a links-like look. But they’re still American- character courses, not during all loyal links courses on sandy belligerent where each shot rolls for days and we can play cunning ground-hugging shots. And a tests of spirit and talent that a U.S. Open now requires are tighten to those of a PGA Championship.

So, if a Masters has a beauty, a British Open has a links and breeze and a PGA has excellent courses set adult to play tough though fair, what about a U.S. Open? Where is a one eventuality that creates players rip out their hair and viewers suppress their antagonistic they-look-like-me chuckles? Where is a speak of examining “character”?

This quandary can be examined during a leisure. For now, we have a eccentric personality board, a unequivocally good new march and a awaiting of a wacky, sparkling Sunday when some of a game’s not-yet-anointed tip talents have a possibility to win a U.S. Open.

For some-more by Thomas Boswell, revisit washingtonpost.com/boswell.

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