SAN DIEGO – Qualifying for the US Open is a great achievement. Once you are there, making the cut and playing the final two rounds is another hurdle. Only the under 60 players and ties earn Saturday and Sunday tee times in America’s national championship, which means that after the second round, more than half of the 156-man field means “wait until next year”.
This year the cut line was 4 over (146).
There are always a few surprising names among the trunk slammers, golfers who have achieved great things but couldn’t deliver for some reason. Below is a list of the notable players at the 121st US Open in Torrey Pines who will not move on.
The 29-year-old is number 9 in the official golf world rankings and won the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational, but a meltdown on Friday threw the Englishman out of that championship. Carding a double bogey 7 on the par 5 13th hole was costly.
The magic that helped Zalatoris to impressively finish the T-6 at the 2020 US Open in Winged Foot and allow him to almost win the Masters in April was never there in Torrey Pines. After starting early Thursday morning, he made four bogeys over his first right holes and then scored pars on the remaining 11. On Friday, he scored three more bogeys and failed again on a birdie.
Horschel won and won the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier this season in Austin, Texas, but the former FedEx Cup champion struggled on Friday. He double-bogeyed 5 on the 11th hole, then a bogey on the 13th par-5 to bring his total to 7.
Tony Finau played in the last group of the 2019 US Open, which was played a few hundred miles up the California coast in Pebble Beach. Here at Torrey Pines he was struggling, especially on the fairways. The American found the short grass of the tee only twice on Friday.
Golf courses that host the US Open do not easily hand out birdies. The Swede earned three, but missed far too many fairways and was statistically one of the worst putters in the field.
The only consolation that Simpson, the 2012 US Open winner at the San Francisco Olympic Club, likely took after Thursday’s 79th shot was that he hit 80 his first five holes Thursday morning. Fight off the tee and give Simpson the weekend with his putter.
After winning the 2018 FedEx Cup, Rose, the 2013 US Open winner at Merion, has had a frustrating last two seasons. However, Rose finished T-8 in the PGA Championship and seventh in the Masters in April, so there was reason to hope for Torrey Pines. Unfortunately, on Thursday, on the way to his 78, he straightened three bogeys twice while not carding birdies. He managed to make three birdies on Friday, but they were evened out by seven bogeys and one par 4 double bogey on the seventh hole.