OAKMONT, Pa.—Defending United States Open champion Jordan Spieth began the week being critical of the U.S. Golf Association and ended it being even more critical of the same group. In between, he had a rough week of golf, too.
Spieth never did make a run at a second consecutive title or redemption after his Masters meltdown. He shot 5-over-par 75 Sunday and finished at 9 over. Even his putter, which is his strength, was not helpful. “Funny thing is I felt like I didn’t have my game this week. If I play the easy holes at even par, I’m still top five,” he said.
He was, though, at the top of his game when it came to expressing his opinion. On Thursday, he spoke angrily to a USGA official after play was halted because of thunderstorm — seconds after he had seen lightning in the distance and hit a shot that landed on the green and wildly rolled back into a bunker. He also disagreed with the USGA’s decision to not allow golfers to warm up after the first of three delays that day.
Spieth was even more outspoken after his final round, letting loose on Twitter over the fact that USGA official Jeff Hall informed Dustin Johnson that he might face a retroactive penalty after his ball moved on the fifth hole: “Lemme get this straight . . . DJ doesn’t address it. It’s ruled that he didn’t cause it to move. Now you tell him he may have? Now? This a joke?”
With seven holes to go, Brooks Koepka was 6 under for the day and needed only one more birdie to tie Johnny Miller’s record 63 in 1973. “I knew that. I was hoping for something even lower,” Koepka said. “I was hoping for 60, 61. I thought that was pretty obtainable.” But he lipped out birdie putts on 12 and 13, then put his tee shot on 14 in a bunker and made bogey. He finished with a 68 . . . Jon Rahm of Spain, who played for Phil Mickelson’s brother at Arizona State, was the only amateur to make the cut. He shot 70 and finished 7 over. Rahm said he will turn pro this week.