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Grading the 2013 US Open

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer


Jason Day experienced the wily ways of old Merion. (USATSI)
Jason Day experienced the wily ways of old Merion. (USATSI)
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Since we're handing out grades, I'm not sure whether to give Merion an "A" or an "F" at this point.

I'm sure there was many a USGA official reading quotes from early in the week about how the winner of the US Open would finish double digits under par and just quietly chuckling.

Double digits over par, they probably thought.

But the rain!

And it's short!

Way different than 1971!

No matter. Merion was the wily beast she's been for the entirety of her 101-year history. Only once in five tries has a score under par ever won the US Open here.

Nobody could tame her again this week, and you know what, that's fine. This is the US Open, boys; let's not act like it's the Phoenix Open in mid-February!

Now if golf were like this every week then I can understand the complaints.

Zach Johnson said the USGA "manipulated" the course.

That's fine too, but last time I checked, everybody had to play the same 18 holes four times. Or in some cases like Johnson's, I guess, two times.

Padraig Harrington shot 11 over for the week but said he loved every second of it. Harrington told Steph Wei of weiunderpar.com "I like the challenge. I didn't find it difficult at all. I wish the US Open were every week."

I bet Tiger Woods doesn't wish it were every week.

Woods made 21 bogeys or worse this week at Merion.

There were a lot of "or worse" scores this week: 78, to be exact. Not to mention 373 double bogeys and 2,079 bogeys. Only 11 eagles, too.

And only 23 rounds under par as well, out of 457. Nobody was better than 67 on any day.

That's OK, though.

Cary Middlecoff, a two-time winner of this tournament, once famously said, "Nobody wins the Open. It wins you."

He was right this week. Four men who were out in front on Saturday faded so hard on Sunday it's going to take weeks to locate them. Charl Schwartzel shot a 78, Steve Stricker a 76, Luke Donald a 75, and Phil Mickelson a 74.

It is golf's toughest test, and it was again this year. There was nothing comedic about the course like the mini-golf like greens from the 1998 US Open that, if left inches short, fed putts back at golfers like some sort of fun house.

No, there was only tragedy this week. And somehow Justin Rose emerged from the carnage. Turns out, he's a worthy champion.

Merion won him, I guess.

And for that she gets an "A."

Here are our grades for the 2013 US Open:

PlayerGradeAnalysis
AA great champion, this Justin Rose. Graeme McDowell tweeted that Rose has been the best in the world the last few years. He went out and proved it on Sunday at Merion.
AAlan Shipnuck of Sports Illustrated is right, Jason Day is a big-game hunter. He has four (!) top three finishes in the last six combined US Opens and Masters.
AYou have to think that was Phil Mickelson's last great shot at the US Open. It's tough to feel for a man who makes $50 million a year and has three green jackets, but I do.
BIt's almost like we don't even pay attention to Ernie Els until the 72nd hole at a major, and this week was no different. The Big Easy posted a nice 5-over score with a final-round 69
BIf Jason Dufner hadn't triple-bogeyed the par-4 No. 15 on Sunday he could have posted a number to beat in the clubhouse. Instead he had to settle for 5 over.
CWorld No. 3 Adam Scott was no better than Nos. 1 and 2. The closest Scott got to breaking par was a 2-over 72 in the first round.
DIt's really just a "D" for Tiger Woods because he didn't miss the cut. That's about the best thing I have to say about his performance.
DThe most entertaining thing Rory McIlroy did all week was try to snap his club in half on Sunday. See: here.
FHoly cow, Jim Furyk. A 77-79 performance in the first two rounds meant he wasn't even close to the cut. It was only his second missed cut at an Open since he won in 2003.
FGraeme McDowell tweeted that he was "just a little off" in every phase of his game. That equated to 13 over and a missed cut.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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