Quick notes from the final round of the 115th U.S. Open Championship

Jordan Spieth poses with the trophy after winning the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. on Sunday, June 21, 2015. (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)

What a week, what a spectacle, and where to begin? The 115th U.S. Open is in the books and the young phenom Jordan Spieth is half-way to completing the Grand Slam at the tender age of 21 with an impressive, albeit circuitous display of managing the quirky Chambers Bay Golf Course with a level of maturity seemingly beyond his years. You bet there will be much dissecting of the entire Championship week from both the player, USGA, and spectator perspectives over the coming days, weeks, or even months, but for now, let’s take a look at some of the observations or notes from yesterday’s final round courtesy of the USGA.

The last five major-championship winners have been under 30 years old. It is the first time since 1924 that there have been five consecutive major champions under 30.

The winners of the last six major championships have led or co-led after 54 holes:

Jordan Spieth poses with the trophy after winning the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. on Sunday, June 21, 2015.  (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)
Jordan Spieth poses with the trophy after winning the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. on Sunday, June 21, 2015. (Copyright USGA/Michael Cohen)

2015 U.S. Open: Jordan Spieth (co-leader)

2015 Masters: Jordan Spieth

2014 PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy

2014 British Open: Rory McIlroy

2014 U.S. Open: Martin Kaymer

2014 Masters: Bubba Watson (co-leader)

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth is the sixth player (and youngest at age 21) to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year. He joins Craig Wood (1941), Ben Hogan (1951 and 1953), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972) and Tiger Woods (2002).

Spieth is the youngest two-time major champion since Gene Sarazen in 1922. He joins Young Tom Morris, John McDermott and Gene Sarazen as players who have won two majors before the age of 22.

Spieth is the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bob Jones in 1923.

Spieth is the first player to birdie the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open by one stroke since Bob Jones in 1926.

Spieth is the 16th player to win the Masters and U.S. Open in his career.

Spieth is the third player to win the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Open. The others are Johnny Miller and Tiger Woods.

Spieth has played eight rounds in major championships this year and has led or co-led after seven of them.

Spieth was the fourth player 25 or younger to hold the 54-hole lead in the U.S. Open in the last 40 years. All four have won (Els, 1994; Woods, 2000; McIlroy, 2011; Spieth, 2015).

Spieth is the first U.S. Open champion from Texas since Tom Kite in 1992.

Spieth is the second player since 1940 to win four times on the PGA Tour before the age of 22. Tiger Woods is the other.

Dustin Johnson

Third-round co-leader Dustin Johnson failed to convert a 54-hole lead in the U.S. Open for the second time. He led by three strokes in 2010 at Pebble Beach, but shot a final-round 82 to finish tied for eighth.

This is the fourth time that Johnson played in the final group in a major championship and has not won. The others are the 2010 U.S. Open (T8), 2010 PGA Championship (T5) and 2011 British Open (T2).

Johnson played the second nine in 4 over par for the week. Spieth played it in 5 under par.

Johnson has nine top-10s in 25 career major championships.

Louis Oosthuizen

Louis Oosthuizen’s total of 199 over his final 54 holes is the lowest in U.S. Open history. The previous best was Kevin Chappell’s 202 at Congressional in 2011.

Oosthuizen’s inward nine of 29 ties the lowest nine-hole score in U.S. Open history. It had been accomplished three other times, most recently by Vijay Singh on the second nine of the second round at Olympia Fields in 2003.

Oosthuizen nearly completed the greatest 54-hole comeback in the U.S. Open. The best comeback by a winner over the final 54 holes in the U.S. Open is by Jack Fleck, who trailed by nine strokes in 1955. Oosthuizen trailed by 12 strokes after the first round.

In addition to his victory in the 2010 British Open, this is Oosthuizen’s second runner-up finish in a major championship. He lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson in the 2012 Masters.

Adam Scott

The 64 by Adam Scott is the lowest final-round score in the U.S. Open since Lucas Glover’s second round in 2009, a span of 22 rounds.

Scott’s 64 is the lowest final-round score in the U.S. Open since Vijay Singh and Tom Kite also shot 64 in 2001 at Southern Hills.

It is Scott’s best score in 44 U.S. Open rounds and only his fourth round in the 60s. His previous best was a 67 in the second round in 2014.

The tie for fourth is Scott’s second consecutive top-10 finish in the U.S. Open. Previous to 2014, he played in 12 U.S. Opens recording zero top-10 finishes and five missed cuts.

It is Scott’s seventh top-10 finish in major championships since 2011.

Scott did not make a bogey over the last 23 holes of the championship.

Players

This is the first time Branden Grace has not converted a 54-hole lead as a professional. He had won the six previous times he led or co-led through three rounds.

The tie for fourth is Grace’s best finish in a major championship. His previous best was a tie for 18th in the 2013 Masters. His previous best finish in a U.S. Open was a tie for 51st in 2012.

Jason Day recorded his fourth top-10 finish in five U.S. Opens. He was runner-up in 2011 and 2013 and tied for fourth in 2014. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 19 career majors.

Eight players from outside the United States finished in the top 10, matching the highest total since World War I. It is just third time it has occurred since 1919.

There were two bogey-free rounds in the championship: Kevin Kisner in the second round and Adam Scott in the final round.

Cameron Smith was the only player to post four rounds of par or better in the championship.

Smith’s tie for fourth is the best finish by a player competing in his first U.S. Open since John Peterson tied for fourth in 2012.

The tie for ninth is Rory McIlroy’s fourth consecutive top-10 finish in a major championship.

The top four finishers (and ties) earn exemptions into the 2016 Masters. The top 10 scorers and ties earn exemptions into the 2016 U.S. Open.

Statistics

Driving accuracy was not necessarily an important factor in playing well at Chambers Bay. Both Spieth and Oosthuizen hit only 62 percent of their fairways, which was tied for 68th among the 75 players who made the cut.

 Course

The 12th hole yielded 26 eagles in the championship. That is the most eagles on a single hole in the U.S. Open since 1985, when course statistics were first kept. The previous high was 17 on the fifth hole at Pinehurst in 2014.

There were 37 eagles recorded at Chambers Bay in 2015. That is the most eagles in a championship since 1985, when course statistics were first kept. The previous record was 31 at Pebble Beach in 1992.

The scoring average of 71.29 in the fourth round is the lowest in any round in U.S. Open history and only the third time it has been below 72. The previous lowest was 71.44 in the fourth round at Congressional in 2011.

There were 21 rounds under par in the final round. That is the second-most in a final round in the U.S. Open. There were 32 in the final round at Congressional in 2011.

Past Champions

Seven past U.S. Open champions made the cut.

Rory McIlroy              T9           Even-par 280

Geoff Ogilvy              T18         3 over 283

Justin Rose               T27         5 over 285

Jim Furyk                  T42         7 over 287

Webb Simpson           T46         8 over 288

Ernie Els                    T54         11 over 291

Angel Cabrera             T64         13 over 293

 

Two-time major champion and lead U.S. Open on FOX analyst Greg Norman discussed the totality of Spieth’s overall game and his mature disposition:

“He is light years ahead of everybody else on tour because he has a complete game. He has composure and he is mature beyond his years. Some of the decisions he has made out here, he has really made collective positive decisions. Maybe it’s his dad, maybe it’s his caddie, maybe it’s his coach, I don’t know, but he has made some phenomenally mature decisions out there on the golf course and never really lets things get away from him. On the front nine today, he was a little bit edgy, a little bit agitated, a little bit out of sync, the putting stroke was a little bit quick. But as he got into it and he got into a position of winning, everything settled in.”

 Coverage of Saturday’s round on local FOX stations registered a 2.8 rating and an average audience of 4.2 million viewers, a +33% increase over NBC’s third-round broadcast in 2014 (3.2 million viewers)

Look for an in-depth recap of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, in our upcoming July 01 issue of Golf Today Northwest.

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