The inevitable response? Let carnage reign

Mark McGowan

Xander Schauffele and Rickie Fowler brought L.A. Country Club to its knees (Photo James Gilbert/USGA)

I don’t want much from a US Open, I just want carnage. Pure, unadulterated carnage.

I want Zach Johnson interviewed post round and saying, “they’ve lost the course.” I want Ian Poulter tweeting images of crazy golf holes with windmills. Okay, so Poults isn’t even in the field, but he’s still on twitter so I’ve still got my fingers crossed there.

I want Jon Rahm turning the air blue with his swearing and thumping his driver off the turf, I want Phil Mickelson hitting four greens and shooting level par, I want a handful of players under par after day one, I want Padraig Harrington’s crazy eyes, I want Brooks Koepka keeping his head while all around him lose theirs, and most of all, I want Rory McIlroy to win.


What I don’t want are 62s, and what I especially don’t want are two of them.

It can’t be easy setting up a golf course when you’ve got 156 of the best players in the world to contain, but they’ve traditionally done a good job of putting manners on them.

But not this week, not at L.A. Country Club. Playing firm and fast is what we wanted and what we were promised, and if you were wild off the tee then you were in trouble, but the greens were reasonably soft, the pins relatively easy and when you give the game’s elite players that combination then they’ll eat a course alive and that’s exactly what they did.

The record books will state that not only have Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele tied Brandon Grace’s major low round record, but they’ve beaten Johnny Miller’s US Open scoring record – a record that’s stood for 50 years, though Justin Thomas did tie it in 2017.

Though Thomas’ 63 and Fowler and Schauffele’s 62s really should have an asterisk next to them in the record books, even though Thomas’ 63 was a nine-under round compared to the eight-under efforts of Miller, Schauffele and Fowler. Miller’s would come in the final round as he charged through the field to come from six back and snatch victory by a single stroke.

Not only did the low-round record fall, but not a single round in the 80s was recorded, also a first for a US Open.

There can only be one response. I think we all know what’s coming. I’ll be shocked if there was a greenside sprinkler turned when the players left for the night, pin locations will teeter between difficult and downright unfair, and several holes will play their absolute maximum length.

They must. To preserve the dignity of the championship and of the course, they have to.

Schauffele and Fowler will play in the afternoon wave on day two, and fingers crossed, will be met by a fiery beast that’s out for revenge.

Ironically, by taking L.A. Country Club apart on day one, they’ve in all likelihood guaranteed that we’ll get what we’ve paid for on day two and beyond.

Mickelson all over the place, Rahm fuming, Koepka doing a better job than most of handling it, and Rory teeing off when it’s at least semi-fair.

Christmas might just come early.

Amen. Let carnage reign.

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