The eyes of the golf world will be on America’s cheese capital this week as the U.S. Open is contested in Wisconsin for the first time. Although host site Erin Hills isn’t exactly an untested championship venue – the USGA staged the U.S. Amateur there in 2011 – it’s a little-known quantity among the world’s best players.
A rolling, windswept layout with some generous landing areas and swaths of deep fescue along fairways, Erin Hills more closely resembles a links course than a traditional U.S. Open layout. The USGA should be lauded taking the national championship outside the box, but as its Chambers Bay experiment in 2015 proved, unconventional thinking comes with risks.
After Chambers Bay and last year’s Dustin Johnson rules fiasco, the blue blazers no doubt are hoping for a championship that’s as palatable as fine cheddar – and not a Limburger stinker.
In Memphis, fortysomething major champions Phil Mickelson and Stewart Cink were in the hunt but young lion Daniel Berger, with a pair of 66s on the weekend, successfully defended his FedEx St. Jude Classic title. Meanwhile Braden Thornberry, the 20-year-old NCAA individual champion from the University of Mississippi, finished T4 as an amateur, further underscoring the game’s youth movement.
With a birdie on the first playoff hole in Canada, Ariya Jutanugarn won the Manulife LPGA Classic after third-round leader Lexi Thompson limped home. The victory was projected to move Jutanugarn past Lydia Ko to No. 1 in the world.
And in Austria, South African Dylan Frittelli – who made the NCAA Championship-winning putt for a 2012 University of Texas squad that included a freshman named Jordan Spieth – won his first European Tour title, the Lyoness Open.